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Marital separation is a way for a couple to legally separate without getting a divorce. A marital separation is similar to a divorce in that the couple will no longer live together and their assets and debts may be legally divided by means of a marital separation agreement. Other issues that may be divided and agreed upon include child custody, child support, child visitation, spousal support, and division of property.
Some couples choose to file for a marital separation rather than a divorce because they are not yet decided if they want to separate permanently; they have religious beliefs that make a divorce difficult or not possible; they wish to protect their assets or health insurance benefits; and/or a separation may be more beneficial for their tax purposes than a divorce would.
Though marital separations are different than divorces, they still carry much of the same complications and consequences. If only one spouse wishes to file for a marital separation, the other may refuse to sign. If both do agree to file for a separation, when working through the details of their marital separation agreement, they may not agree on the terms. A couple may face many stressful disagreements about who will get child custody, when visitation rights should be, who will get which assets, etc. These disagreements can be difficult to resolve and may make the legal separation process long, arduous, and expensive.
Just as in a divorce, having a lawyer's support and assistance can be extremely important and beneficial. A marital separation is still a legal separation, thus legal agreements must be made between both parties. Filing for a marital separation can protect your assets, your children, and your rights; and it can relieve you of responsibility for your spouse's financial liabilities. Having a family law attorney on your side can help make agreements go more smoothly between you and your spouse, and if problems do arise, a lawyer will fight for your rights to ensure you get what you want out of your marital separation.
If you are planning on filing a marital separation, knowing your rights and what is involved in such a separation is important. Having a marital separation lawyer can assure you that your parental rights, responsibilities, assets, property and relationship with your children are protected. A marital separation lawyer can help you resolve difficult matters and problems that may arise during your separation.
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