Rushing into divorce is never a good idea; there's too much at stake, and sometimes putting things off for a bit can make things easier for everyone. Separation is often overlooked and treated like the run-up to the divorce filing, but it doesn't need to be that way. You can take as much time as you and your spouse need to think things over and get prepared for this next phase of life, and you can use a legal separation agreement to help get your financial and custodial issues on track. Read on to find out why some couples might be better off with a longer separation and transition period before contacting a process server.
Why might you want to put off divorce?
There are reasons to get divorced as quickly as possible but there are just as many for taking your time and going through an extended separation period. The situations below point the way toward a long separation:
1. There are ethical or religious considerations that might make a divorce less attractive, but the couple wishes to live separately and set up some financial guidelines and provisions using a legal separation agreement.
2. The couple wants some time apart, but they want to participate in relationship counseling in the meantime.
3. The couple needs to continue the health insurance offered by one spouse's employer.
4. The couple anticipates that the divorce will be a complicated and long exercise and wishes to make provisions for the interim.
5. The couple wants to place a priority on other issues, such as a chapter 7 joint bankruptcy that might make the debt division easier.
6. The couple is close to being married for 10 years, and that milestone signals better Social Security retirement benefits in the future for at least one of the party.
What goes into a legal separation agreement?
Whether you are putting off divorce or not, you should consider creating an agreement to address important issues. The longer your separation goes on, the more vital it is that you cover contingencies. Consider including the following temporary provisions for your own agreement:
1. Spousal support (or alimony): if the petitioning spouse can show a need, then support can be ordered prior to the final decree.
2. Child custody: visitation and child support should be decided.
3. Housing: who gets to occupy the family home until the divorce is final should be decided.
4. Debt: the amount of debt each party owns at the time of the separation agreement is signed should be recorded.
5. Property: Some temporary measures should be put in place to address things like vehicle and real estate use before the final decree.
Speak to a divorce lawyer at a local law firm to learn more.
25 June 2018
Like many people, I once found learning about law very intimidating. My brother went to law school and I remember glancing through a few of his books and wondering if I was actually reading English due to all of the legal jargon in them! However, when I ended up in a sticky legal situation due to accidentally breaking a small law I didn't know existed, I realized that I needed to learn more about the law, so I could make sure to follow it precisely in the future. My brother helped to break down some complicated legal concepts to me, and I have since been studying up online. I want to post what I have learned and continue to learn about law in the future on my new blog, so my knowledge cannot only help myself, but also help others!