Unsure About Separation?
During a period of separation prior to your divorce, or during the process of your divorce, you need to know that both your custody rights, and your property rights may be affected. Keep in mind that, if you and your spouse have been living apart from one another for any length of time, you may need to protect yourself–and your property–against actions that may be taken against you.
Not Interested In Going All The Way To Divorce?
If you’re not interested in having your marriage dissolved completely, then a legal separation is a great alternative to a divorce. It may surprise you that legal separation offers many of the same benefits as divorce:
- Resolution of alimony
- Division of assets and property
- Deciding responsibility of loans and other liabilities
There are some very key differences between a divorce and a legal separation that distinguish the latter as being a great option for couples undergoing financial strain while dissolving their marriage. When legally separated, each party may:
- Continue to file taxes jointly
- Remain eligible for social security benefits under their spouse’s name
- Receive coverage under their spouse’s health insurance
One of the most difficult, and complex, processes of divorce or separation is the division of property between the two parties, and things can get complicated quickly. For instance, in community property states, you and your spouse are able to designate certain assets as being “community property” owned by both of you. In common law states, whoever has their name on the deed or the registration is the owner of the asset in question. Remember to keep your best interests in mind when researching your case.
Want To Live Separately Indefinitely?
Once again, note your state laws when it comes to legal separation. There are four different kinds of legal separation:
- Trial separation, which is when a couple decides to live apart in order to make the decision of whether or not to divorce. This type of separation is usually not legally recognized, and anything accrued between the couple during this time will be recognized as joint property.
- Living apart, which is similar to a trial separation except that the couple has made the decision to live separately. Property acquired by either spouse during this period may be determined as separate property by the court, or it may not be ruled as such. State laws do apply when it comes to this kind of separation and property.
- Permanent separation, which is slightly more convenient than trial separation and living apart, as anything acquired over the course of a permanent separation is considered separate property by most states.
- Legal separation, in which the spouses are living apart from each other as in other forms of separation, but a court has ruled on how certain responsibilities–such as childcare, and maintenance of the marital home–will be divided.
If any of this seems overwhelming at all, then know that you aren’t alone. The best advice that any legal professional could ever give one of his or her clients is that you should always keep your best interests in mind. Should you have any doubts that you will not be able to represent yourself well in your legal separation or divorce case, then know that it is imperative for you to contact a good attorney.
Enter Raiser & Kenniff, PC, Attorneys at Law. These former prosecutors, and renowned legal commentators, began their New York City firm intending to help real people with real problems, and have the expertise that you need to settle your divorce or separation case. Call them today for a risk-free consultation, or visit their website to learn exactly what your options are so that you can best represent yourself and your interests.