Divorce is a big decision, so if you are unsure of it, you can try legal separation. Legal separation is a way for couples who are not sure of divorce to live apart, take the needed break, and get their thoughts together to find out what they really want.
What Is A Legal Separation?
Legal separation is a step towards divorce. In this, the couple can live separately but still have the married legal status. It also ensures each couple’s rights are protected, such as the right to child custody, property, and other aspects. So to ensure legal protection, people sign a formal legal separation agreement.
This agreement will then determine the various aspects of marriage, such as property division, child support, and alimony. Even if you will not be pushing for divorce, legal separation is a smart move to protect your rights.
What Is Determined In A Legal Separation Agreement?
Suppose both the spouses decide on a legal separation; then, it’s best to get a lawyer to write up the legal separation agreement. This document offers legal protection and works as evidence that can also be used in court. There are different laws in every state, so it’s essential you work with a Houston divorce lawyer when you draft this agreement. They will advise you on what is considered an asset and how it will be divided. They will help you through this difficult period.
1. Child Custody And Child Support
Child custody, visitations, and child support are decided in the legal separation agreement. You can ask for a protective order from the court if you think your spouse may pose a threat to your child.
The decisions regarding property divisions are also made. Who will own the house and other properties after separation, and who will pay for it, or who will the home be sold to. Also, who will live in the house after separation is also included?
3. Spousal Support
The amount of alimony and spousal support is decided during the legal separation.
There are specific benefits that were available during your marriage, which can be withheld, such as health insurance.
5. Joint Accounts
Many couples have joint accounts. So a legal separation agreement must include who will have access to these accounts. If the couple decides to close these accounts, then each spouse will have to obtain new individual accounts.
You will also be protected from the responsibility of acquired debt during your separation time period.
The Bottom Line
Legal separation is not the termination of the marriage. During the separation, spouses remain married legally. It will give you clarity on how assets will be divided. Even though it is not a required step towards divorce, it is a smart step that will help you cool off and make a wise decision. This is why sometimes legal separation does not end in divorce, and couples reconcile.
So if you have decided on legal separation, then working with a divorce lawyer will be beneficial for you. They can advise you on laws that you do not know about and help you understand your rights. They will help in drafting agreements, help in making decisions regarding spousal support, child custody and support, and property divisions.
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