Is Your Separation Legal?
Divorce can be a long, drawn out process that has many different steps. For some couples, there’s a chance to save the marriage before they have to go through with the actual divorce filing. Many of those people will choose to go through a separation period of in order to sort some things out and try to fix whatever is causing their marriage to fall apart. But not every separation is the same. Marriage law is complicated and it varies depending upon where you live. In some places, legal separation is a recognized by the court, in other places, it’s just something that couples do on their own.
Getting a legal separation is different than just getting mad at your partner and deciding to move out. It is designated by the court, and it’s only available in certain states. In some states couples are either married or they are divorced, and there is no legal distinction for the middle ground. Legal separation means getting the courts involved in the situation. When couples go for a legal separation, they will create a formal separation agreement and they will be bound by the conditions of the agreement. The court will oversee the conditions listed in the agreement to make sure they are adhered to.
Much like a divorce, a legal separation is typically something that couples decide on their own. They might recognize that they can work through some of their issues while having some time apart, so they come up with an agreement and go their separate ways. A legal separation will set forth a pre-determined period of time, allowing a couple time to work on getting their affairs in order. If a couple can’t work things out and save the marriage, then the legal separation can be used as a time to organize the divorce in terms of taxes, possessions, and to sort out details like custody arrangements.
One of the things that makes legal separation different than just a trial separation is that the agreements will outline specific duties like child care, pet care, and what is to be done in terms of support. These things are important and it is always the court’s job to make sure that any children involved are taken care of accordingly. Legal separation can be a positive thing for couples who want some time to sort things out before the finality of divorce proceedings.