Divorce terminates a marriage and separation doesn’t but most of the same issues will follow. Child customer, child visitation, child support, alimony, division of property/debt, etc.
Types of Legal Separation and Separation Agreements
- Formal Separation Process – Most states allow spouses to apply directly to the court for a legal separation by filing a written petition / complaint. After the petition / complaint is filed, the couples will have to agree or ask a judge to decide on certain issues. When these matters are decided then the court will issue orders and declare the couple legally separated.
- Couples Separating On Their Own – When a couple starts living apart and separates their finances on their own and usually enters into a property settlement agreement / separation agreement. The process is voluntary and the courts involvement is minimal. Couples usually use attorneys to help with their negotiations. If a spouse then violates the agreement, they can take the matter to family court for a judgement.
Pros and Cons of Divorce and Separation
If after a certain amount of time a party wants to file a divorce petition to formally dissolve the marriage it good to have a separate agreement in place to make the divorce as smooth as possible. You don’t need one but it can make it a faster and less bumpy ride. A contested divorce can be slow and expensive.
Timing matters and for example… If a couple chooses to separate, but not get divorced for a certain length of time, one spouse may then be entitled to collect social security based on the other spouse’s benefits, etc. Healthcare, tax returns, and property can also be affected and be parts of the decision on how long to stay separated.
The choice between divorce and separation can be complicated and it’s important that you consult with an experienced local divorce lawyer!
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About Helmer Somers Law
We are committed to helping families resolve their differences and get back to their lives. We help individuals and families fight for custody of children. We protect your rights as you go through divorce proceedings. We offer the guidance and support that you will need when you are involved with the legal system. We help clients with cases involving…
- Divorce and legal separation
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support and spousal support (alimony)
- Property division
- Domestic violence
- Grandparent rights
- And other related issues
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