Separation can be an overwhelming experience for those involved and can lead to serious legal and financial ramifications if you attempt to go through separation proceedings without legal representation. Our marital agreement attorneys can help you handle the logistical side of separation, whether it be with the prospect of reconciliation or as a trial run for divorce. If you are facing a separation, you should consult our experienced Westport separation agreement lawyers who can help you execute an agreement that is suitable to your specific situation.
When spouses are legally separated, they live apart but are still technically married. They would need to legally dissolve the marriage with a divorce before they remarry. Couples may choose to separate rather than divorce for many reasons. Sometimes a separation is a trial run while couples consider a divorce. In other instances, the couple may need to remain legally married for religious or financial reasons, making separation preferable. A couple may also choose a legal separation if they believe they will be able to reconcile in the future, in which case they may undo the separation agreement and resume the marriage. If the couple ends up choosing to divorce, the separation agreement may be merged with the divorce decree.
Legal separation is governed by Connecticut statutory law in C.G.S. §46B-40. As provided in the statute, the grounds for legal separation are the same as the grounds for divorce, including an unfixable breakdown in the marriage, a physical separation of at least eighteen months with no hope of a reconciliation, adultery, fraud, desertion, cruelty, life imprisonment, and other fault-based grounds.
The procedures for a divorce are also applicable to a legal separation. However, at the end of a proceeding, the court declares the couple legally separated instead of divorced. A couple that is legally separated cannot remarry unless the legal separation is converted to a divorce. Legally separated couples remain able to inherit from one another but are considered single for tax purposes.
Separation agreements form a binding contract with clauses on issues like child custody agreements, the division of debts and assets, and spousal support payments. Spouses who need to execute a separation agreement should seek the counsel of our lawyers in Westport who can offer valuable guidance.
If spouses wish to file a legal separation in Westport, the statutory law states that they must be a resident of Connecticut. To establish this residency requirement, at least one of the parties must have resided within the state for the twelve months preceding the date that the complaint is filed. A party may establish residency if they were a resident of the state when they entered into marriage and have since returned to live permanently.
For a dissolution action, there is a fourth basis to establish residency, which does not apply to legal separation, that is the cause for the dissolution of marriage arose since the parties moved to the state of Connecticut. Our Westport separation agreement attorneys can help a couple to resolve any uncertainties about this requirement.
A separation agreement can be a helpful document when the future of a marriage is in question, as it will form a binding contract on issues such as parenting obligations, child support, debt allocation, and alimony. If you or your spouse is considering a legal separation, our Westport separation agreement lawyers can examine the circumstances of your case, no matter how complex, and help you create and file this critical legal document. Call today to schedule your consultation with a compassionate family lawyer at SGBBW.