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Every marriage has its set of problems. Very few people have it good all the time. It may come down to a specific instance of bad behavior on the part of your spouse or you may be at a point in the marriage at which you just cannot seem to agree on anything. It is hard for two individuals to see eye-to-eye all the time. When you live with one another, have children together, and are involved in living a shared life you will inevitably run into situations that bring out differences between you.
However, the number and depth of the disagreements may have gone past the point of toleration. Neither one of you want to divorce. That is an action that is too final and perhaps too severe given the circumstances. However, it is impossible for you to work your problems out while still living together. There is an alternative. You can both sign up to a separation agreement.
Separation need not be the first step toward divorce. Plenty of couples have actually resolved their differences and come back together stronger than ever after some time apart. Taking this step may be the most effective way to save your marriage.
You should retain your own legal counsel for this action. Doing so may have the feel of divorce, but it is merely a means of ensuring that everything is clear between you. It is important to have legal counsel who is completely in your employment to look over the contract.
Separating leaves a great deal of issues to be resolved. All the assets that the two of you have built up over the years must be accessible to you both. There is also the matter of maintenance. If your spouse has been the primary earner for the family, you can get maintenance included in the separation agreement.
Custody and child support arrangements must also be settled. You may want to retain custody of the children, and you will be able to work out the details of visitation with your spouse. It is also essential that the two of you agree on the amount of child support that will be paid while the two of you are living apart. Although you are not taking this action under divorce laws, the laws concerning child support that must be given by the non-custodial parent are still in effect.
All of this can be sorted out before you part ways. Working with an attorney who specializes in separation agreements is the best way to ensure that your interests are looked after. What you don’t want to do is find yourself on your own, deprived of support, and with no legal recourse to correct the situation. You must also ensure that your children will be cared for. Putting the details on a legally binding document is the only way to make sure that things work out as you want them to.
This is not a matter to be worked and handled by any old lawyer. You need to employ an attorney who possesses expertise in drawing up separation agreements. This is also important because of what might happen after the agreement is signed. There may come a point at which your partner does not live up to their end of the bargain. You will need someone who knows how to get the agreement enforced. You want a lawyer who is competent and deeply insightful about this area of family law.