Legal separation is usually an alternative or precursor to divorce for married couples. However, while separation can be a good substitute for divorce, the process of legally separating can still be complex. While facing this difficult decision, you should know that you have the right to hire a lawyer to help you with the legal separation process.
At the Aberdeen Law Firm, our family law attorneys understand that you want to move on with your life and minimize the stress that comes with divorce or legal separation. We’re here to help you. We can determine what constitutes legal separation in your state and work out an agreement with your spouse.
Only Some States Recognize Legal Separation
Much of the process involved in your legal separation will depend on the laws of your particular state. Some states recognize legal separation, while others don’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t reach an agreement with your spouse, and a lawyer can help either way.
If you live in a state that recognizes legal separation, there may be a necessary legal process to have it recognized by the state. You can usually secure a court order addressing certain agreements between you and your spouse. We can answer any questions you have regarding residency requirements, separate property vs. community property, and how a separation agreement could affect your social security benefits and medical insurance. Our attorneys can walk you through the legal separation process.
If you live in a state that doesn’t recognize legal separation, you can simply make a contract with your spouse, which may or may not come into play later on if you decide to get a divorce. This is where it can get tricky. You will want clear agreement on a variety of terms, such as division of property and spousal maintenance. Our legal separation attorneys can help you define those terms and work to secure your financial future.
Agreement Terms in a Legal Separation
There are several things you should consider when seeking legal separation. Though this process differs from divorce, you will still have to agree to certain terms, and it’s best to have them all spelled out, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
The following factors may enter into a legal separation agreement:
When people get divorced, some states require one spouse to pay the other alimony as one spouse usually becomes financially dependent on the other over the course of a marriage.
When it comes to legal separation, spousal support may still apply. Once again, it all depends on the laws in your state. Yet, even if you are simply entering into a contract, you or your spouse may seek spousal support and work to have it included in the agreement.
When people divorce, one of the most contentious agreements is property division. This also factors into legal separation since separating spouses usually don’t intend to live together anymore. Whether there is one property in question or multiple estates, it’s important to understand your state’s laws.
For example, in a state that does not recognize legal separation, you may be able to reach a “partition and exchange agreement” dividing the properties between the spouses. This can greatly affect what happens to your property if you later divorce or if your spouse passes away. For example, separate estates may not be considered marital property, which could come up for debate in a divorce.
You can see how easily these contracts can complicate a legal process. That’s why it’s best to get complete clarity on what you’re agreeing to and understand how it could affect you in the future.
Child Custody and Support
If you and your spouse have children, child custody issues, child support, and other family law issues may come up in a legal separation. Of course, you want the best for your children, and that usually involves both parents’ support. You can work out an agreement or seek a court order to help you receive child support if you are the custodial parent (the parent the child lives with).
Each state has different rules and laws when it comes to issues like child support amounts and visitation rights. We know that nothing is more important than your child’s health, well-being, and stable future, and our legal separation team can help you secure the support you need from your spouse.
Negotiating a Legal Separation Agreement
If you are seeking a legal separation, you want the negotiations to go smoothly. However, things can get heated, and you may find the entire process overwhelming. This is where our legal team can help. Having a lawyer can give you peace of mind, knowing that you have a powerful advocate in your corner.
Our Legal Separation Lawyers Offer Client-Focused Legal Care
At the Aberdeen Law Firm, our legal separation lawyers pride themselves on providing client-focused legal services. This means that we will never treat you like another case file on a desk. We also don’t apply a standardized approach to your case. Each family is unique, which means that each case requires a tailored, personal approach.
When you work with our lawyers, we listen to your concerns and explain the legal process. We can work to streamline your case and resolve it as promptly as possible. We are also available to answer your calls and address any questions you may have.
We offer free consultations and flexible payment plans to make our services affordable and accessible. We’re proud of our reputation for excellence and professionalism and have received many positive reviews and testimonials from our past clients.
Contact The Aberdeen Law Firm Today for Help With Your Legal Separation
You deserve to be happy and move on with your life. Our legal separation lawyers are here to listen, offer sound advice, and help you make a plan to move forward. Call our office or contact us online today for your free initial consultation.