Legal Separation

Legal Separation

“Jill, wants to try to save our marriage. I guess I do too, but I’m scared. What if it doesn’t work? What am I risking by trying?”

Couples facing marital issues often feel scared. They want to make their marriage better. But, what if they can’t?

Marriages struggle when spouses have, for one reason or another, stopped trusting each other. Lost trust makes it hard to risk working on the marriage. Legal separation makes it safer for you to try.

When people marry, they legally become much like conjoined twins. Under the law, you are “one.” Assets accumulated or liabilities incurred (with a few key exceptions) belong to both—no matter who earned or who incurred. Both have rights regarding the children. Money is to be used for both.

If you choose to live separately to work on your marriage, these same presumptions remain in place. That’s where legal separation can prove invaluable.

Filing a legal separation creates a protected space for working on your marriage. The filing of the Legal Separation agreement notifies the court of the intent to separate. This puts some legal protections in place regarding assets received or liabilities incurred during the separation period.

Even more protection comes with the filing of a Legal Separation Agreement. By working with a mediator, the two of you can craft an Agreement to put legally enforceable protection in place for each of you by detailing your decisions around:

    • finances,
    • parenting, and
    • responsibilities for day-to-day bills.

The Agreement clarifies responsibilities and legal effects should either of you fail to keep the agreements. This promotes security as you navigate the counseling process.

More, larger assets such as equity in the house, retirement plans, or investment portfolios are able to keep growing for the benefit of both. Should you desire to work through how these would be divided if you decide to divorce, those decisions can be put into a “Post-Nuptial Agreement.” This works much like a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in directing how the marital estate should be governed should divorce come.

Legal separation offers a protected space between marriage and divorce to allow couples to make the best decisions about their future. To take full advantage of this option, consult a trained professional. If you would like more information from Resolution Mediation, click here or call 317-793-0825. We look forward to serving you.

Picture credit—Creative Commons

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People going through divorce often feel like they are stepping off a cliff. They are keenly aware they don’t know what they don’t know. We offer answers in a process that protects people, preserves assets, and provides a way forward. 

Call 317-793-0825 or contact us here.