How to File for Legal Separation
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If a couple has come to a decision that they cannot live together as a husband and wife or if they want to take a break from the marital relationship, legal separation is an ideal option for such couples. The rules and requirements for legal separation change from state to state. Also, there are other factors determining whether the separation will be granted to the couple need to be taken into the consideration.
The first step is to determine whether one wants to go for divorce or legal separation. The only difference is that after the divorce is granted, the marital ties are severed completely and the couple can remarry. However, after a legal separation is granted, the status of the couple changes from 'married' to 'legally separated'. They remain legally married and cannot remarry unless they file for a divorce.
Before filing for legal separation, it is important to ensure that you have made a thorough decision. . In most of the states, legal separation is a pre-requisite for divorce and it cannot be revoked. It is not considered as a break from each other but a long lasting agreement. However in some of the states, reconciliation always remains an option and legal separation is mostly considered as a trial separation.
A legal separation is a legally binding contract and is as important as a divorce decree. Many states do not recognize the documentation for legal separation. If you are a resident of such a state, you need to prepare a settlement agreement with the help of a professional attorney, get it notarized and signed by both the parties. This agreement has to be submitted to the court and then it becomes legally binding on both the parties until one of them decides to file for divorce or in case of some states, decide to reconcile.
How to File for Legal Separation?
There are some generic steps which apply when one decides to file for legal separation. However, it is necessary to check with the local authorities when filing the petition in a particular state. The steps of filing for legal separation are as follows:
The partners remain legally married but cannot indulge in sexual relations as well as cannot socialize as husband and wife after the separation is granted. Neither is the couple allowed to remarry unless they get a divorce.
Legal Separation Agreement:
A legal separation agreement is known by various names such as settlement agreement, property settlement agreement or separation agreement. It deals with all the above mentioned marital issues regarding child custody, visitation, support, health care, property settlement and other important issues.
In almost all the states, the settlement agreement is considered as a blueprint for the divorce settlement if the couple eventually decides to go for it. It is important to prepare a settlement agreement as it forms the core of the vital issues in a couple's life.
Reasons of Opting for Legal Separation:
The number of couples opting for legal separation instead of divorce is on the rise. There are few reasons why people opt legal separation as opposed to divorce. These reasons are as follows:
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