What is a legal separation? It is an order set out from the court that determines the responsibilities and liabilities, both custodial and financial, of the married couples when they decide to live separately. In a marriage, all types of issues can be settled in the separation agreement but the couple still remains married legally. This is why it is said that separation is often the foremost step that you take towards a divorce. However, separation is not the same as divorce and separation doesn’t always need to climax off to a divorce.
Based on the state you reside in, legal separation has various names like ‘judicial separation’, ‘limited divorce’, or ‘separation from bed and board’. There are a few states where a married couple has to mandatorily become legally separated before they get a divorce. The total span of time that a couple gets for legal separation ranges between 6 months and 2 years.
Knowing the rights of spouses during a legal separation
As long as legal separation court proceedings are concerned, matters like alimony and division of property, and child custody and support are discussed in the court. Nevertheless, during all this, the spouses will remain married legally and can’t make a decision to remarry till they obtain a divorce.
Few common concerns that may arise between a couple who are on the verge of separation are:
- Whether or not one spouse can get temporary alimony
- The amount that would come in the form of child support payments, in case there are minors involved
- Which debts will be divided among the spouses for timely payment
- Rights to the house of the family including whether or not each of them can live in the marital home during the legal separation
Is legal separation better than a divorce?
When you’re under legal separation, you’re entitled to keep getting vital benefits like the medical insurance coverage of your spouse. Meanwhile, you also get enough time to mend matters in your marriage, if you may wish to do so.
Due to the close similarities between legal separation and divorce, the former can even ease up and facilitate the process of divorce. Moreover, if you personally don’t believe in seeking a divorce or your religious beliefs don’t permit you to do so, living on a long-term legal separation can be a wise option.
How much are you in need of legal separation?
There are some spouses who opt for legal separation as their religious beliefs are against the idea of a divorce. There are some others who think that a legal separation can be a nice break from the hassles of living in a troubled marriage.
Whichever might be the reason for separation, it always has the benefits of offering a legal framework for both parties when one doesn’t abide by the terms of an agreement to pay for support. For instance, in the event that a spouse fails to pay for alimony or child support, the court can force the spouse to make payments on time. On the contrary, if there’s no legal separation that has been ordered by the court, the judge can’t enforce any delinquent payments.
Do you require a legal separation lawyer?
When you’re asked to sign a legal separation agreement, you certainly require legal counseling about the agreement terms and how it may have an impact on your rights. For the best legal separation attorneys, you may check out https://www.acooklaw.com. Once you get in touch with a lawyer, he will assist you in retaining your separation rights both before and after you get separated legally.
Therefore, now that you’re aware of your rights during a legal separation, try to be within your limits. Get professional help to complete the process of divorce with ease.