A judgment of separation from a court is granted to couples seeking divorce but are still legally married until the divorce. Separation agreements primarily cover financial responsibilities between spouses before divorce is final. In several states, a legal separation document changes the legal status and can affect legal rights.
A separation agreement is a binding contract, and it is wise to get legal advice before signing one. It covers things like:
• Child support
• Visitation rights
• Personal property status
• Family home status
• Child custody
• Debt repayments
• Work protective orders barring spouses from each other’s workplaces
Types of Separation Agreements
A trial separation is a break from the marital relationship before deciding whether there will be a divorce or reconciliation. All matrimonial and property laws apply, and court treatment in the period is still considered as married.
Permanent separation is when spouses separate with no intention of reconciliation. Depending on the state, property rights can change. Assets and debts acquired during that time belong to the spouse responsible. The date of separation is vital to determine steps to take. Some states require permanent separation before the finalization of divorce and have to live separately during that period.
Legal separation is a petition request or a separation agreement filled in family court. It is different from a divorce as status is considered legally separated but married. Specifics on property division, child custody, amongst other things, are agreed upon.
Steps to Take
Before making a separation agreement, the first step is ensuring that the separation done is considered legal in the state. Separation has to be on different houses to be considered physically separate. When making a separation agreement, take note of the date of separation in preparation for the divorce. Settlement of all marital matters from property division, support, and custody is finalized. Separation agreements benefit both parties to avoid litigation costs. It also gives both parties significant control of the outcome of the case.
Emotional protection is also guaranteed as separation agreements are used as a guide by the judge in all decisions made regarding the eventual divorce. If one party backs out of making separation agreements, contacting a family attorney should be done. The attorney should guide the legal standing of the marital assets and all debt concerned, breaking down the agreement. Court order to help in litigation case is also done for more straightforward judgment. Call any of our family law attorney to help write a complete detailed separation agreement and, if need be, offer representation in litigation.