A Guide to Divorce and Legal Separation
Divorce cannot relieve what is lost from the once fruitful relationship that a husband and wife had, but legal separation can still benefit both parties in one way or another. Legal separation can provide parameters for co-parenting, child support, and spousal support while still maintaining the marital status. Legal separation also leaves the door open for reconciling or resuming the marriage.
Legal separation is a contractual undertaking and court-honored agreement between a couple that has chosen to live apart but opted to remain legally married. Staying married for religious reasons, wanting the advantage of documentation of spousal support payment for income tax reasons, wanting to maintain various insurance coverage or when they want to wait for the state’s statutory period for termination of their marital status are just some of the reasons why couples would pursue legal separation.
If a couple wants to have an opportunity to set out the terms of the divorce in advance then the couple can opt for legal separation. While legal separation agreements outline the important things for the couple, it mainly boils down to where each will live and who will take possession of the property while they are separated.
It is an illusion to make the dissolution of a marriage go as smoothly as possible because divorce is such a devastating event and the wreckage of a marriage is a difficult experience.
And it is because of this that states have accommodated many ways to lessen the impact as a consequence of this aggressive action. The legal separation agreement has been legitimized because of this. It is the States’ measure or recommendation that if you are going to live apart from your husband beyond a reasonable trial period, you obtain a legal separation agreement – and as mentioned above, it is a legally binding agreement between you and your husband to resolve issues such as the division of assets and debt, alimony/ spousal support, child support and visitation.
But just the same as divorce, not every legal separation is the same, and there are several steps to ensure that you are legally covered. And since this is a legal decision, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney. During your consultation, inquire about your state’s divorce requirements and particularly ask about waiting periods.
And, before your sign any legal separation agreement you should let your divorce lawyer review it first to make sure that it is beneficial for both of you. If you consider that your separation agreement could also be your divorce agreement, then it makes it necessary for your divorce attorney to review everything in the document. With a divorce lawyer around, you can be confident that what is contained in the agreement is only for the best interest of all the parties involved in the separation.