If your marriage is coming to an end, or if you and your spouse simply need some time apart to mend your relationship, you may benefit from entering a formal separation agreement instead of dissolving your marriage. Separation agreements, or separate maintenance orders help you manage your finances, assets, and shared children without dissolving your marriage.
A family law attorney at our firm can help you navigate this challenging time in your marriage. Let a dedicated Crabapple separation agreements lawyer help you make the most of your time apart by protecting your rights to property and support, child custody, and more. If you end up deciding to divorce after being legally separated, do not hesitate to retain qualified legal representation.
While Georgia does not have a formal law for legal separation, individuals who wish to separate may file a petition for “separate maintenance.” Official Code of Georgia Annotated §9-11-40 generally requires a waiting period of at least 30 days before filing a divorce petition. Couples who want a longer waiting period to consider whether dissolving the marriage is the right path may also enter into a separation agreement with the help of a Crabapple lawyer.
Some couples may not wish to formally divorce for religious or financial reasons, like to maintain insurance or Social Security benefits, for example. Separation agreements in Crabapple have a similar outcome as divorce and can address many of the same issues. O.C.G.A. §19-6-10 provides that spouses who are separated and have not initiated divorce proceedings can seek an order for separate maintenance from the court.
Some petitions are filed by mutual agreement, similar to a “no fault” divorce. This means that neither spouse is at fault for causing their separation. Otherwise, either spouse can provide a reason for the separation, such as adultery, substance abuse, domestic violence, abandonment, or other misconduct.
Like divorce proceedings, an order for separate maintenance will address issues regarding child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support or alimony, and the division of property and other assets. Additionally, individuals wishing to separate can work through their contested issues outside of court through mediation.
Unlike divorce, there is no six-month residency requirement for those seeking to legally separate in Crabapple. Additionally, the individual seeking a separate maintenance order will need to serve their spouse with the court papers personally, rather than by publication.
Your marriage may be going through a tough time, and you and your spouse may need space to consider whether the relationship is worth continuing. Even if you decide to divorce later down the line, letting one of our team members help draft a separation contract beforehand can make the process of dissolving a marriage much easier.
A Crabapple separation agreements lawyer can help you understand your rights under state law and ensure your interests are protected in a viable contract. Get in touch with our firm today to learn more.
Atlanta Divorce Law Group