Sometimes couples wonder if legal separation is a necessary step before they move apart or seek divorce. Below we outline why legal separation is a good and necessary step to take if you are moving towards a divorce.
One of the main reasons people get legally separated is that it protects your interests while you decide if you will move forward with a divorce or not. A separation agreement outlines where you and any children will live in addition to visitation schedules. A separation agreement also legally determines how assets will be split and how bills will be paid and by whom. This agreement can help protect you from being held responsible for a spouse’s debt, liabilities, and taxes.
Cooling Off Period
A legal separation can provide some clarity for couples in terms of how assets will be handled, as well as provide a “cooling” off period to be able to decide on if they truly want to divorce. Some states require that couples be separated for a period of time prior to being formally divorced. Other states, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Texas, do not recognize legal separations. In those states you are able to file for temporary orders as a way of protecting yourself prior to officially filing for divorce.
Drafting a Legal Separation Agreement
Working with a lawyer can be helpful when drafting a legal separation agreement.
This is the perfect time to begin thinking what assets you have that will
eventually need to be divided, in addition to starting your new life as
a single person. Working with an attorney can help ease the tough period
you and your spouse and family are experiencing.
Source: WomansDivorce.com, Separation Advice Answers From The Expert, 2014