Posted on: 12 April 2021
Relationships are difficult. No matter how much time and effort you put into your marriage, there may be some issues that are not getting resolved. Many couples think that divorce is the only option when it comes to finding relief from a bad relationship.
While divorce is common, you also have the opportunity to utilize a legal separation to help you navigate your next steps moving forward. Legal separation is a written agreement that is filed with the courts.
The agreement outlines the division of many essential marital activities. Some of these activities include financial responsibilities, child custody arrangements, and the division of assets.
In order to appreciate the importance of filing a legal separation agreement, you must recognize the ways a legal separation can benefit you.
1. Maintain Your Marital Status
There are many reasons why a couple might want to maintain their marital status, despite the fact that they are living separate lives.
Some religions frown upon divorce. Social security benefits require that a couple be married for a set length of time. Health and life insurance policies may only provide coverage for married spouses. A legal separation allows you to maintain your marital status without requiring that you live with your spouse.
The division of assets and child custody arrangements included in a legal separation can help couples manage their finances and children effectively.
If you are worried about how a divorce will affect your position in your religious community or you need to continue spousal benefits, filing a legal separation agreement will allow you to remain legally married while still being free to lead a life that is separate from your spouse.
2. Complete a Trial Divorce
A divorce is the legal end of your marriage. Filing for divorce requires a lot of time, money, and emotional trauma. Couples who aren't sure if they are ready to divorce can benefit from a legal separation.
Once the legal separation agreement has been filed, spouses can live apart without worrying about how the separation will impact their financial well-being.
Living apart gives couples the time they need to determine whether or not divorce is the right option.
It can be difficult to see any alternatives to divorce when a couple is caught up in the day-to-day disagreements of their marriage. Couples can seek counseling individually and together during a legal separation to work on resolving marital problems.
Using legal separation as a trial divorce can give you the time you need to determine if you want to move forward with a divorce.
3. Streamline the Divorce Process
Many aspects of a marriage must be discussed during divorce proceedings. Couples often fight about alimony, child support, custody arrangements, and the division of assets when filing for divorce.
A legal separation can help eliminate a lot of this fighting should you and your spouse decide to move forward with a divorce.
Your legal separation will contain an overview of the responsibilities and benefits each spouse will enjoy during the separation. A judge will use the legal separation agreement as a baseline when granting your divorce.
Many couples find that it takes less time and money to complete the divorce process when they have gone through a legal separation first.
Your attorney can help you make your temporary legal separation agreement final by including the terms and conditions of the separation in your divorce paperwork.
Legal separation is a valuable yet often underutilized tool that couples can use when their marriage becomes strained. Ask your attorney if a legal separation would be beneficial if you are considering divorce in the near future.
To learn more, contact a family attorney.Share