Legal separation agreements allow couples to do some pre-divorce planning along with making things easier during the separation period. Some situations call for this type of agreement more than others – even in states that have no specific separation requirements. Read on and find out more.
Are You Ready to Divorce?
Some couples want more time between the beginning of separation and the final divorce petition. That is where a legal separation agreement comes in. This agreement provides the couple with the security of knowing that legal provisions protect them when it comes to hot-button issues like child custody, debt divisions, and more even if they are not quite ready to make things final. The reasons for delaying a divorce can be many, including:
- The couple is waiting for a child to be a bit older or out of the house entirely.
- One of the parties is seriously ill and divorce needs to wait.
- Religious reasons will keep the couple from divorcing but they are still living apart.
- The couple hopes to reconcile at some point in the future and plans to undergo marriage counseling in the meantime.
Even if you plan to go through with the divorce as soon as possible, a legal separation agreement can help smooth things over when used as a transitional tool. Any agreements that seem to be working well during the separation can just be folded into the final divorce decree.
How Legal Separation Agreements Help
Divorce and separation are not one issue but involve several important categories like those pertaining to the minor children of the family, debts, property, and more. A complete separation agreement is as close to a divorce as you can get and still be married because it addresses nearly every issue – at least temporarily. If this sounds like something you and your spouse are interested in, consider including these provisions in your legal separation agreement before having a divorce or family law attorney make things legal and certified:
- Support, both spousal and child support can be ordered by a judge during separation.
- Temporary child custody can be awarded along with visitation for the non-custodial parent.
- The use of the family home and the party's vehicles during separation can be planned.
- Debts can be assigned with each party being told to continue paying certain bills.
- Some temporary property divisions can take place.
Speak to a divorce lawyer or a family law attorney to find out more.