These days, more couples are deciding to remain separated, rather than divorce. Why? Some, financial reasons, others, fear of the unknown and to some, the children. Before you walk out and leave things lying fallow, you should talk with a lawyer about “Legal Separation”.
If you are going to live apart from your spouse beyond a reasonable “trial period”, you should obtain a legal separation agreement – this is a legally binding agreement between you and your spouse to resolve issues such as, spousal support, custody, access, child support, and asset/debt division. If, in the future, you decide to formally divorce, the separation agreement will be included in the divorce judgement. A legal separation agreement can help you mitigate many financial risk. Although separating certainly can have benefits, living apart from your spouse without a formal written separation agreement can put you at risk. You still remain liable for your spouse’s debts and legal issues even after separation. If your spouse fails to pay certain matrimonial debt; creditcard, car loan, line of credit, because you are still married, the creditor can seek remedies against you for the debts. After sometime, communication and cooperation with your spouse may no longer exist and you may not receive your share of the assets acquired which may be depleted or lost because you were unaware of how your spouse was managing the funds. Hence, you should take advantage of the current situation, when you can still communicate, protect yourself. Some people remain separated for months or even years, so it’s essential that you protect yourself upfront and have all the necessary issues settled, agreed to in writing and with independent legal advice all the way. Finally, a separation agreement can be obtained as early as within a week. You can go to sleep, being rest assured that you are protected, you can plan your future with certainty, play the lottery, and actually single.