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Legal separation is similar to a decree ending a marriage except at the end of the process the couple is still legally married and neither spouse is free to re-marry during the separation or until the Separation has been converted into a dissolution of marriage (i.e. Divorce). A married couple may choose to separate in lieu of divorcing for a variety of reasons, such as due to a religious prohibition against divorce, their wish to make legal provision for spousal support, child support and/or division of assets while remaining married for purposes of remaining on one spouses work-related medical insurance, or using the separation as a divorce “trial run.” Similar to divorce, a legal separation requires a written agreement specifically and exhaustively enumerating how the couple plans to handle child custody and support, alimony, asset and debt division, and any other issues they may face.
If your marriage is not working and you would like more information on the benefits of legal separation, then speak with a Fairfield County separation agreements lawyer today. It is critically important that you speak with a family law attorney who is knowledgeable about Connecticut separation law before proceeding. You have too much at stake for you to go down this road without exceptional legal representation.
When two spouses decide to separate, both should retain their own attorney to ensure that the proceedings are fair. Because the separation agreement that both spouses sign will have an impact on almost every portion of a person’s life, it is important that the arrangements made are fair and amenable the first time in order to avoid further conflict. While the contents of no two separation agreements are exactly the same, many cover a few common topics, similar to divorce agreements:
Connecticut is both an “all property” state and an “equitable distribution” state for the purpose of separation and divorce. This means that all property owned by a separating couple – even property they owned before the marriage – is subject to division. Equitable distribution simply means that a court will divide a separating couple’s property fairly, but not necessarily 50/50, if they cannot agree how to divide it on their own.
When either drafting or reviewing a separation agreement, a Fairfield County separation agreements lawyer could see that it contains a provision ensuring that their client receives alimony. Someone going through a separation may qualify for alimony if they had been financially dependent on their spouse during the marriage.
One of the most contentious issues of just about any legal separation involving minor children is child custody. A separating couple can formalize a mutually amenable child custody arrangement in their separation agreement, or a court can rule on the matter for them.
Just as with divorce, spouses in Fairfield County who separate are required to address the issue of child support. This can be accomplished either in their separation agreement or through court orders.
While many spouses move directly to divorce, there are several distinct advantages to a legal separation. Some of the most common pros include:
If necessary, separating could allow a couple to stay married long enough to qualify for social security and military benefits.
Some, but not all, health insurance plans allow legally separated couples to continue to receive health insurance benefits.
For many spouses, legal separation functions as a “trial run” for divorce. For such couples, there is always the possibility that they reconcile their differences and recommit to their relationship without having to legally remarry.
Signing a separation agreement and having it receive court approval is a major step in your life. A professionally drafted separation agreement can help ensure that your decision to separate is a productive one, maintaining your financial security and your relationship with your children. Contact a Fairfield County separation agreement lawyer today for more information on whether this option is right for you.