During the separation period of a divorce, several important actions take place. What happens during your separation period depends on whether you have minor children, your debts, your marital property, and more. Read on to find out what might be keeping you busy during your separation period.
The Legal Separation Agreement
If the couple chooses to legally separate, they may enter into a legal separation agreement. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the separation, including division of assets, child custody, and support arrangements, spousal support (if applicable), and other relevant matters. It serves as a guide until the divorce is finalized. While they are not required in all states, they are undoubtedly useful. This is a good time to speak to a divorce lawyer and get the groundwork laid to file for divorce later.
During the separation period, couples may decide to live separately, either in separate residences or within the same household but in separate living areas. Living arrangements may be determined by factors such as financial considerations, co-parenting needs, and individual preferences.
Child Custody and Parenting Arrangements
Determining child custody and developing a parenting plan is critical during the separation period. This involves deciding where the children will live, visitation schedules, and other aspects related to their well-being.
During the separation period, it's important to address financial matters. This includes separating joint bank accounts, establishing individual bank accounts, creating a budget, and managing ongoing expenses. Couples should also consider how to handle joint debts, credit cards, and other financial obligations.
Support and Maintenance
Spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, may be relevant during the separation period. Depending on the jurisdiction and individual circumstances, one spouse may be required to provide financial support to the other. The amount and duration of spousal support can be negotiated or determined by the court.
Getting Started with the Divorce
While the separation period is distinct from the divorce process, it's important to understand the legal requirements and steps involved in obtaining a divorce. This may include filing divorce paperwork, serving legal documents, attending court hearings, and finalizing the divorce settlement or trial.
Consult with a divorce attorney to ensure you understand the rights, responsibilities, and legal processes involved during the separation and divorce period. Professional guidance can help navigate the complexities and protect your interests throughout the separation and divorce proceedings.
For more information, contact a family lawyer near you.