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A divorce is the dissolution of marriage, but sometimes couples opt for a separation agreement as an alternative to the permanence of divorce. In a legal separation, both parties agree to live apart while still remaining married. Separations are sought in instances where people believe there might be a good chance to reconcile later, as opposed to a divorce filing that insists on the end of a marriage after all issues are resolved.
Just like divorce filings, though, couples must decide on the legal agreement that will be binding during their separation. And remember, separation doesn’t end the marriage – it’s still binding – so anyone dating during a separation might later be held accountable for what they do if one spouse decides to file for divorce. Technically, they could file for divorce on the grounds of infidelity, which might have negative consequences on anything you might seek to gain in the divorce.
A sample separation agreement is a glimpse into the legal issues that surround a separation. Like in divorce, the separation agreement touches on custody and visitation, spousal support, preliminary matters such as both parties having been informed of their responsibilities and agreements, and living arrangements. For example, which spouse will live in the once shared residence and which will seek a new place to live.
Lawyers in our firm are committed to helping our clients fight for their interests in a separation agreement. For example, one spouse may not agree to pay a certain amount of child support. The judge will decide and lawyers will be invaluable in helping you gain primary or joint custody. One side might not agree on living arrangements, so that will be worked out in a court of law.
Marriage counseling and mediation are big parts of life during a separation. Since they’re separating and not divorcing, there is a slant toward reconciliation and this will mean seeking marriage counseling and other potentially helpful services that might help to save the marriage. No one has ever gotten married hoping to get separated or divorced someday. But sometimes couples encounter difficulties in life that make living together hard. It doesn’t have to mean the end of marriage. A separation can actually strengthen a marriage and the resolve to work together during a difficult time. Many marriages are reconciled after a separation thanks to careful planning with lawyers AND seeking the right kind of help for the marriage.
Many people wonder how lawyers help during a separation agreement. The answer is always: They do help. Just please trust us when we say that trying to do a do it yourself separation agreement can be a legal nightmare later on down the road if there is contention with any part of that agreement.
When you secure the help of our expert legal team, you give yourself the power to know that every decision you make is a legally sound one and you also have the power to question your attorneys and learn more about every decision you make. Having someone to call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can be a big emotional comfort during such a hard time. No one wants to be legally separated, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. To do it the right way, make sure you have a lawyer on your side from the beginning.