When you and your spouse decide that you cannot live together any longer but are not quite ready for a divorce, you could seek help from a divorce lawyer for a legal separation. If this is the first time you are going through something like this, you may wonder how legal separation works, and here are several things to understand about it.
You stay legally married
One of the most important things to understand about legal separation is that it is not equivalent to a divorce. When you legally separate, you receive a court order for the separation, but you are still married in the eyes of the law. Because of this, you can reap some benefits that you would not have if you got divorced. Keeping your health insurance that your spouse's employer offers is one of the perks you may want to take advantage of, but there are plenty of other ones too.
You create an agreement
Another perk of a legal separation is that it gives you a way to separate with an agreement in place that is legally binding. If you separate without going through the legal process of legal separation, you will not have this type of agreement. Without an agreement, you are way more likely to experience problems during this time.
When creating the agreement, you and your spouse are free to choose what it includes and what the agreement states, but there are several important things you should make sure it includes. One thing is the living situation. If you own a house, will you stay there or will your spouse stay there? Another important topic is expenses. Who will pay the expenses for the house, the credit cards, and other bills you have? If you have kids, you will need to agree on things related to them too.
You can proceed to divorce easier or change your mind and stay together
Legal separation can be permanent if that is what a couple wants, but it does not have to be. In most cases, it is just a stepping stone that either helps a couple know they want to proceed with a divorce or that they want to stay together.
Legal separation can be a good step to take if you are in a position where you want to separate but do not yet know for sure that you want a divorce. You can seek legal advice and assistance for this by visiting a divorce law firm.
For more information, contact a divorce attorney in your area.