Sometimes the best treatment for a struggling relationship is space and time apart. When a couple is not ready for divorce but cannot live together peacefully, they have the option of creating a separation agreement. These agreements define each person’s responsibilities and the terms of their separation until the couple either reconciles or divorces.
If you are ready to live apart from your spouse but do not want to get divorced, it may be worthwhile to talk to a family attorney about your options. Talk with a Cobb County separation agreement lawyer to learn how this type of agreement could work for you.
A separation agreement is a type of marital contract like a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Unlike prenups and postnups, however, separation agreements can determine issues regarding child custody and child support.
Separation agreements are created with the understanding that the spouses involved will no longer be living together. As a result, the contract must decide which person will stay in the marital residence and who will move out, which person will be responsible for paying certain bills, how the marital property will be divided, and whether one spouse will pay financial support to the other.
If the couple has children together, the agreement must also decide where children of the marriage will live and how much child support each parent will pay. Parents will need to create a parenting plan and custody arrangement that follows Georgia law, similar to a divorce case.
If the couple later chooses to divorce, they may likely turn the separation agreement into the final settlement agreement to be incorporated into the divorce decree. A Cobb county separation agreements attorney could help a couple ensure their contract is drafted to be thorough and enforceable enough to allow for this.
Every couple has their own reasons for choosing to separate. However, couples who create a separation agreement rather than divorcing usually do so for three main reasons.
Many religions disapprove of divorce. Devout followers of these religions may be understandably unwilling to risk alienation from their religious or cultural group by getting divorced, even if their relationship cannot be salvaged. As an alternative, these couples may decide to file for a legal separation that gives them the practical benefits of divorce without the social stigma.
Some couples who go through marital strife may someday be able to reconcile with their partner. When a couple needs time apart to work on their relationship but also needs to determine how they will deal with their children or their finances in the meantime, a separation agreements lawyer in Cobb County could potentially provide a solution.
A separation agreement usually becomes the basis for the parties’ eventual divorce agreement, should they choose to separate permanently. This agreement can address division of their marital property, provide for financial support, and create a parenting plan for their children. Once both parties agree on these terms, they could file for an uncontested divorce that a judge may approve much sooner than a contested one.
A separation agreement should be treated as seriously as a divorce settlement. While people who create a separation agreement are not required to get a divorce, these contracts can still determine each spouse’s rights and responsibilities for years in the future. If you think that a separation agreement may be the right choice for your marriage, schedule a consultation with a Cobb County separation agreement lawyer and learn more about the benefits and drawbacks to these marital contracts.