Is your marriage in trouble? It’s okay to admit that you aren’t in the best place, and it’s all right to allow yourself time alone by way of separation. It’s something many couples turn to when their marriage seems stuck in a place they can’t seem to come back from. Perhaps you want to work through your problems, but being together every moment of the day makes it difficult for you to do that without malice and resentment and other negative feelings.
You’ve tried it all, and you want to make it work. The only thing left is to go your separate ways for a while. One of you is going to leave your marital home for a few weeks or months so you can focus on finding happiness together again. It’s the absence makes the heart grow fonder situation. You realize how much you miss one another and your life together, and the other issues you’re going through seem so much less significant when faced with the possibility of life apart. The question now is do you make it a legal separation or not?
What is legal separation?
Legal separation and separation aren’t entirely different. Legal separation is the act of being separated from your spouse with the help of an attorney and the court. It involves the creation of a legal document that helps you keep your financial life and promises to one another legal. For example, it helps you come up with a legal agreement for the kids if you have them, for your household finances, and more.
If you decide to go through your separation through proper legal channels, you stand a better chance at keeping your promises. Your spouse moves out but promises to keep paying half the household expenses and spend every weekend with the kids, but decides to change his mind two months in. You have a legal contract that requires he follow through with his promises or face serious legal consequences in a court of law. It’s protection, even when you feel you don’t need that kind of protection.
Do I really need to involve a court and a lawyer in my marital issues?
Yes, you do. You may choose not to do so, but it’s wise to handle your separation on legal ground. You never know what might happen, how your life might change, or how outside factors might influence decisions in your separation. What happens, for example, if your spouse loses his or her life while you are separated? You never know if his family might decide to challenge his will in this instance since you were separated at the time of his death.
You don’t want to see that happen, so a legal document outlining the terms of your separation is wise. It will allow him to dictate how he wants to handle his estate in the event of his untimely death even through your separation. What happens if he meets someone else and decides to leave you for someone else and stop paying the bills he agreed to pay? Without a separation agreement, there’s nothing you can do about it.
How does an attorney help me with a legal separation?
Your attorney will come up with an agreement for you to sign that outlines all you agreed upon during the discussion of your separation. It’s a legally binding document that outlines everything from the separation to death to reconciliation. An attorney knows what to cover, what not to leave out, and how to make this contract as legally binding as possible. Let an attorney help you if legal separation is something you want to pursue.