Legal Separation Lawyers: Understanding the Basics
Legal separation is a non-formal and ephemeral dissolution of marriage. Legal separation is an option a married couple may execute as a precursor to divorce. In general, a legal separation is a preliminary step towards a permanent dissolution of marriage (i.e. a divorce or annulment). The process enables the couple to live life without one another; a fundamental step before terminating a marriage. The most significant requirement to secure a legal separation is that the filing parties may no longer share the same residence.
A legal separation necessitates the inclusion of a court order; this document arranges the terms of child custody, support, alimony and property division under which a married couple will live independently from one another. The definition of a legal separation—as well as the procedure and assets fought over–will vary depending on the participant’s resident state’s legal separation laws.
If you are planning to divorce your spouse in the future it is wise to engage in a legal separation; this procedure allows you and your spouse to experience what life would be like without living together. Since the dissolution is not final, the process enables the couple to ensure that divorce is the appropriate step. The primary advantage of a legal separation is that the process can easily be reversed; the couples can reconcile and maintain their marriage if they choose to do so.
Do I need a Legal Separation Lawyer?
The inclusion of a legal separation lawyer will depend on your particular state’s protocol and the number of complications (amount of assets, presence of children etc.) aligned with your case. In a legal separation, you and your spouse will file the appropriate legal documents in court to affirm that you no longer share the same residence or that your finances are being split. In some states, you must be legally separated for a certain period of time (i.e. a full year) before you can proceed with the divorce process. Other states; however, view a legal separation as a different form of marital dissolution—these states view the couple as married but living separately for other reasons.
You do not need to hire a legal separation lawyer to file for legal separation. In the majority of states in the U.S. you will only need to fill out the appropriate legal documents and subsequently file them with the court system in your area. That being said, hiring a legal separation lawyer will expedite this process and ensure the appropriate filing of said documentation. Furthermore, the inclusion of a legal separation lawyer is recommended if there are specific issues that need to be addressed, such as the separation of assets, property and the affirmation of child custody issues. If these complications are present in your proceeding, legal separation lawyers will draft legal agreements to elucidate and legally uphold these issues.
In general, a legal separation lawyer is not necessary to file for a legal separation; however, including legal separation lawyers in the process is suggested to protect the interests of you and your spouse.
Legal separation lawyers are professionals aligned with family and divorce law. A legal separation lawyer will understand the specific rules and regulations that your state imposes on a legal separation. This knowledge enables their clients to abide by the state’s protocol; this adherence ensures that the parties file a legal separation in line with the state’s wishes. Furthermore, a legal separation lawyer will create a binding contract between the two parties to protect the interests of both spouses. If your case is complex and involves a transfer of assets, child custody rights, alimony or property, the hiring a legal separation lawyer is suggested. Note: issues revolving around property, child custody, debts and assets are not affirmed in a legal separation—they are simply agreed upon if a divorce is realized.
Legal separation lawyers will draft legal documents that elucidate the roles and responsibilities of the filing parties. This process ensures that both parties agree to–and subsequently promise—the delivery of the affirmed legal responsibilities.
Benefits of Hiring a Legal Separation Lawyer:
As stated above, you may choose to pursue a legal separation on your own, but an experienced legal separation law lawyer can help you maximize your legal rights. When evaluating your need for a legal separation lawyer, understand that the legal professional will help with the following:
• A legal separation lawyer will guide you through the legal separation process in compliance with your state’s laws. The legal separation lawyer, will therefore, expedite the filing process and ensure that the maneuver adheres to all your local laws.
• Legal separation lawyers construct separation agreements for you and your spouse to follow. If you do not hire a legal separation lawyer, you will be responsible for the drafting and filing of your own separation agreements.
• If one spouse refuses to engage in a legal separation, the case can be tried in a family court. If this occurs, a legal separation lawyer will represent you in the courtroom proceedings.
• A legal separation sets fundamental precedents, including what happens with your property, debts, children and other assets involved in the event of a divorce. A legal separation lawyer can help ensure your rights are protected with regards to these assets throughout the process.
Important Steps to Follow:
It is crucial to remember that when legally separated, you and your spouse remain married and are not free to remarry. Depending on your state’s laws, adultery taking place after the legal separation is affirmed with a court can cause negative financial consequences for the cheating party. Furthermore, if one spouse is already moved out, the remaining spouse should consider filing for a legal separation to protect themselves with regards to child support, custody taxes and any new debts that the individuals incur. These provisions and regulations often complicate the process; as a result, hiring a legal separation lawyer may be beneficial given your case.