Marriage Defenders

With Justice for ALL (quote from the pledge of allegience U.S.A.)

This is an informational website offering support not legal advise

- Legal Separation -

Please note that in many if not all states a legal separation filed with the court can automatically be turned into a divorce after a certain time. In some states this can be as little as six months.

Should a couple that separates have a written agreement? If they agree that a separation is the best thing for them, they could simply live apart without any formal agreement for as long as they want. However, they may wish to have a separation agreement in order to protect them in case things do not remain harmonious.

A separation agreement is especially advisable if one of the spouses does not work and will be caring for children on a full-time basis. The risks are simply too great that a spouse may change his or her mind about the amount of money paid for child support. Also, an agreement is helpful if disputes arise about personal property and bills on the marital residence.

As with any other agreement, you can write it yourself, but at some point you should consult a lawyer to make sure you have covered all the contingencies and that you are getting an appropriate amount of support based on the laws of your state. Whether or not you consult with a lawyer, it is always best to put your agreements in writing and make sure both of you sign and date the agreement.

You may even want to have witnesses or a notary so that there will be no question at a later time about the circumstances surrounding the signing of the agreement. You are not required to file the separation agreement with a court.
Some of the issues a separation agreement should address:
· the right of each spouse to live apart
· child custody
· child support · visitation rights
· spousal support
· medical and dental expenses
· children's education expenses
· children's recreational expenses, such as camp or after school music and dance lessons
· division of property, with a complete listing of the income and assets of both spouses · life insurance
· income tax
· divorce
· any other issues that are of importance to you

A separation agreement may be declared invalid if either of the parties failed to make a full disclosure of his or her assets.
Also, there are certain rights that cannot be given away, such as the right to receive child support if you have custody of the children.

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