Legal Separation: What Is It?

If you and your partner have been considering separating, you’re not alone. Approximately 45% of first marriages end because of conflict and arguing, financial problems, commitment issues, and more. However, sometimes married partners may want to be legally separated without completely dissolving their marriage.

Known as a legal separation agreement, legal separation is when you and your spouse are still married but mandate different duties using a court order that both of you voluntarily sign without involving the court. But what exactly is a legal separation agreement and what does it involve? Here, we’ll dive more into what you can expect from a legal separation and the process involved.

What is a legal separation?

A legal separation is when a couple separates but are still legally married. Couples may choose to live separately and can split their assets as they so choose. When dividing assets, a couple will come to an agreement on custody and visitation and other divisions while signing a separation agreement. Once the court finalizes the separation agreement and six months have gone by, the couple can remain separated indefinitely should they choose or dismiss the separation agreement.

What happens when you sign a separation agreement?

When a married couple signs a legal separation agreement, they’re still legally married. That means both spouses are still responsible for any debt owed, even if that debt was accumulated by one partner such as student loan debt or medical debt. In a legal separation, both parties can retain their health care benefits and some social security benefits under a family plan.

Both spouses are also still considered next of kin in the event of a major medical decision or an unexpected tragedy. This allows both parties to act on behalf of the other in the event of a medical or financial decision. Additionally, because both parties are still married in a legal separation, both partners still retain the legal rights to the properties they’ve purchased together.

If you and your partner are considering a legal separation, but you’re not sure where to start, a professional and experienced separation attorney can help you get the process started. Fortunately, your local law offices have the separation attorneys and family court lawyers you need. For more information on legal separation, contact your local law offices to schedule a consultation.

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