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When a couple gets married, the last thing they expect is to split up. However, the truth is at least half of all couples saying “I do” ultimately wind up separating, which can lead to numerous conflicts regarding division of property and other aspects of the relationship. To avoid these conflicts, many couples can enlist the services of an attorney to help them draw up a separation agreement. In this agreement, they can ensure property is divided up equally, as well as iron out important details regarding child support, visitation, and other issues related to the couple’s children. If you find yourself in need of establishing a separation agreement, the Spodek Law Group has the experience and knowledge needed to help couples create separation agreements that can satisfy both parties.
The Reasoning Behind A Separation Agreement
You can consider a separation a precursor to a divorce. A separation agreement does not legally terminate the marriage. Also, it does not give the parties the legal right to marry someone else. A separation agreement serves three purposes.
- It legally documents the date that a married couple becomes separated legally. If in the future a divorce gets filed, this date will be important.
- It serves as documented evidence of the separation.
- It settles the various considerations needed for the separation. There are numerous factors to consider when a couple go their separate ways. They will need to address child custody and support, bills, and alimony.
Many couples use separation time as an opportunity to attend marriage counseling, to reconcile or to come to terms with a divorce. Courts favor of arrangements like this because they would much rather a couple settle their issues and work together without the court’s intervention. Many people wisely seek legal counsel and mediation to help through these difficult times.
Once you have arrived at acceptable terms, the courts give final approval on the contract. From that point on, all the terms of the agreement are court-enforceable. If one or both parties fails to comply with the terms, they can be found in contempt. A judge can provide assistance if a couple cannot agree upon some of the terms on their own. During a hearing, the judge will listen to both sides, examine the facts of the matter, and make sure that the agreement is fair and reasonable for both parties.
Ownership of Property
When it comes to couples breaking up, dividing up the property that was obtained during the relationship can become a major obstacle. Whether it’s a piece of real estate, motor vehicles, artwork, or other types of property, all possessions can be divided up to satisfy both parties. Along with these types of properties, couples can work with an experienced and knowledgeable separation agreement lawyer to divide up major financial investments such as stocks and other items. For more information about division of property, visit Your text to link….
When a couple decides to call it quits, there can always be questions regarding the type of lifestyle they were living prior to the breakup. If one person decides they were used to living a lifestyle that required a certain amount of income per month, conflicts can arise when attempting to settle financial income. Because of this, questions about alimony payments can lead to accusations about one person having expensive habits and living a lifestyle that is far too extravagant. To help determine the amount of alimony payments, a judge will usually look at a variety of factors, including how much each person earns, any debts they may have, how long the marriage lasted, and if there were any prenuptial agreements in place.
Changing a Will
Since many couples have wills done when they first get married, they often forget about these important documents if they break up years later. Because of this, an ex-husband or wife may wind up being the beneficiary of an estate later on, which can be upsetting to relatives of the deceased. To keep this from happening, an experienced and knowledgeable separation agreement attorney can see to it that a will is changed as soon as possible, ensuring that a future inheritance does not go to the wrong person. In most cases where a will is changed due to a breakup, the new beneficiary often becomes a parent or child. For more information about changing a will, please visit Your text to link….
Settlements Outside Court
When a couple breaks up and cannot agree to terms, they often wind up going to court. When this happens, the possibility exists that a judge may make a ruling that could prove difficult for one or both parties. Because of this, more and more couples are urged by their attorneys to reach settlements outside of court, which can lead to separation terms that may be far more favorable to both people. Since a separation agreement can be far less formal and involve far less bureaucracy, it’s possible to reach an agreement without having to involve a judge and leave your future in the hands of the court. By working with a skilled lawyer who knows how to create fair and effective separation agreements, a settlement outside of court is much more likely to occur.
Orders of Protection
If a couple simply cannot get along after a breakup, it may become necessary for one person to file a restraining or protective order against their ex-spouse in order to prevent harassment or intimidation. In situations such as these, it’s vital to have an experienced separation agreement attorney by your side, since they will know the process that needs to be taken to guarantee your protection. While the goal of a separation agreement is to ensure a breakup is handled in a peaceful manner, a knowledgeable attorney will realize any criminal threats should not be taken lightly, and will take the necessary steps to ensure all goes well.
You’re Legally Separated, and Now You Want A Divorce. What Do You Do?
If you want the terms in your separation agreement to be translated into terms for your divorce r, you can file for a conversion divorce.
In a conversion divorce, the divorce is based on an existing separation agreement.
You request that the court include all the terms of the separation agreement into your divorce decree. The judge reviews all of the terms of your separation agreement and figures out whether to include them all in your divorce.
Your separation agreement has to be on file at the county clerk’s office before it can be converted to a divorce. If you never filed your separation agreement at the county clerk’s, you would need to file it at the same time you file your divorce papers.
Schedule a Consultation
Instead of letting yourself be intimidated by an ex-spouse and their attorney, it’s important to schedule a free consultation with the Spodek Law Group as soon as possible. By calling 888-981-9127, you’ll be taking the first step toward having a separation agreement that is fair to you and your unique circumstances. Rather than go it alone during this complex process, let an attorney who cares about you and your long-term happiness work out a fair and equitable agreement.