Legal separation is the best option for married couples who cannot continue living together, but want a legally binding way of living apart without filing for divorce. In the eyes of the law, legally separated couples are still considered married. One of the reasons for legal separation is to define the roles and responsibilities of couples who do not want to continue living together. Legal separation is legally binding and enforceable because its decisions are documented and approved in a court of law
While divorce may seem like the most logical step for many couples living apart, legal separation is more beneficial in some circumstances. Some of the reasons why some couples opt for legal separation include possibility of reconciliation, tax considerations and to maintain insurance and social security benefits.
The first step to take when pursuing legal separation is to consult an attorney specializing in family law. Such attorneys are more equipped with knowledge of legal separation agreements and laws and know how to deal with divorce and child custody issues.
Some of the issues that you can discuss with a legal separation attorney include child custody, assignments of financial responsibilities and division of assets. Though many legal separation procedures are quite amiable, it is important to protect your interests in case the legal separation progresses to divorce. How you divide assets and assign financial responsibilities during legal separation will most likely determine how assets are divided and financial responsibilities assigned in case the legal separation progresses to divorce. Some of the issues handled in legal separation include removing names from title deeds, leases, credit card accounts and bank accounts.
Some couples come to agreements working together with one attorney while other spouses consult their own lawyers. Once the spouses have consulted their attorneys, they come to the table together to make changes and revisions until they reach a mutual agreement. Then one or both lawyers will present the agreement to a court so that a judge can sign it to make it legally binding.
Though couples in legal separation may live separate lives, the law does not consider them as single. Legally separated couples may date and live as freely as they like, but will have to move forward with divorce if they want to remarry.
Although legal separation is a common term in family law, many couples do not know what to do to file for legal separation. For additional information about legal separation contact a Legal Separation Attorney 973-821-4199.