Sometimes married couples may decide to live apart rather than filing for a divorce, and some couples may decide to file for a legal separation rather than get a divorce.
If you're not sure you want a divorce, but you don't want to live with your spouse any longer, a legal separation may be the solution. Unlike a divorce, if you're legally separated you cannot remarry and you're technically still married.
Some couples remain legally separated and never file for a divorce for a variety of reasons. Other couples legally separate to determine if they actually want to move forward with a divorce.
Reasons for a Legal Separation
There are numerous reasons people choose to legally separate rather than file for a divorce. Some people are opposed to divorce for religious reasons and instead choose to live separately.
In some situations people choose to legally separate rather than divorce for financial reasons or because of health insurance benefits.
Legal Separation is a good option if you are nearing the tenth anniversary of your marriage due to the 10 year requirement to collect Social Security Benefits.
If your spouse is in the Military, you'll want to remain married for ten years to be eligible for benefits under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act.
What to do if you want a Legal Separation in Alabama
A legal separation in Alabama must be filed with the court. Living apart without a formal separation agreement can be risky. You'll want to hire a Birmingham Divorce Attorney to draw up the Separation Agreement and protect your legal rights, just as you would hire a Divorce Attorney for a divorce.
The Legal Separation Agreement will address issues such as:
• Division of property, assets and debts
• Child Custody Issues
• Child Support
• Spousal Support
The decision to legally separate can become quite complex. You should consult with a Birmingham Family Law Attorney so you can make wise decisions regarding your future and protect your interests – for both the short term and the long term.
It's important that you can live with the terms of the separation agreement long term because many times the separation agreement will carry over to the divorce settlement agreement if you decide to move forward and file for a divorce.
For that reason, it is important that you understand the implications of a separation agreement and how it may impact your future.
If you're considering a Legal Separation in Alabama and would like more information about your legal rights, contact Birmingham Divorce Attorney Steven Eversole for a free initial consultation.