4 Things To Consider Before Legally Separating From Your Spouse

Many couples separate to figure out if their relationship is still worth saving. If you are thinking about separating from your spouse, then you should draw up a legal separation agreement with a divorce attorney. Many couples have children, joint bank accounts, a home together and other financial interests. You have to protect yourself while living apart from your spouse. Here are four things to consider before taking a break from your marriage.

Does Your State Recognizes Legal Separation Agreements?

Every state recognizes legal separation agreements except seven. These states are Texas, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Idaho, Florida, Georgia and Delaware. If you live in a state that does not recognize this agreement, then you will need to file for a divorce. However, there are certain reasons you need this agreement to protect your assets.

Children and Child Support

When a couple decides to separate, one person usually keeps the children and the other one leaves the home. Custody is usually decided during the divorce. However, child support is an issue that needs to be settled during the separation. If you have custody of the children and want support, then you have to file a legal court order to enforce payments. It is the same with visitations. You and your spouse have to agree on a visitation schedule which is usually included in your separation agreement.

Spousal Support

If you are a spouse that stays at home, then you are going to need financial support from your spouse. However, spousal support can only be enforced with a separation agreement. Financial support is not only for stay-at-home spouses. It is also available to spouses who work. Many married couples share bills in their home like mortgage, health insurance, car payments and utilities. If one person moves out of the household, then it can be difficult to pay your bills without the second income. A legal separation agreement allows couples to agree on who will pay what bills.

No Trust

Many separations do not end on a good note. Some couples are also unable to communicate with each other. If you cannot trust your spouse, then you need a legal order to make him or her live up to your verbal agreements.

A legal separation usually comes before a divorce. Divorces are hard on families and can be filled with conflict. If the separation goes on for a long time, then more tension may build between you and your spouse. A legal separation agreement protects you when you have too many reasons to not get a divorce. Contact Law office of Kristine A. Michael, P.C. for more information.