Relationships can be complicated and sometimes messy. In Georgia, married spouses have two options if their relationships have taken a turn for the worse: dissolving their marriage or legally separating. Among various other functions, a separation agreement establishes rights and responsibilities for both parties to support their family during and after the period of separation.
A Roswell separations agreements lawyer could help you understand the uses of separation agreements and how they could provide a potential alternative to a costly divorce. Following that, a skilled family attorney could help draft an agreement that works best for you and your family.
By constructing a separation agreement and ensuring it is legally enforceable, two married parties enter into a contract that serves all the same purposes as a court-mandated divorce without actually dissolving their marriage. However, a separation agreement could be assimilated into the final divorce decree if a separated couple ultimately decides to pursue one.
There are a few reasons why a couple may choose to legally separate instead of divorce. Keeping government benefits related to healthcare and pensions is a common reason, as may be various religious or cultural beliefs. One of the most common reasons is simply to get some space and time apart to plan for the future with or without their spouse.
Regardless of the specific reasons, parties to a separation agreement may stipulate a wide variety of terms into this type of contract. Typically, these agreements resolve issues such as:
Both parties are obligated to fulfill their roles and terms in the agreement. A failure to do so could give the other party a cause of action to file a civil lawsuit demanding performance under the terms of the contract, regarding which a Roswell separation agreements attorney could potentially offer advice.
There are a few subtle differences between legal separation—or separate maintenance—and divorce in Roswell that a qualified lawyer could help a spouse explore. First and foremost, separation agreements go into effect the moment each party signs the paperwork, whereas even the quickest and most effective divorce process could still take several months to conclude.
The terms of a separation agreement and a divorce may handle many of the same topics such as allocation of debt and property and spousal support, but the former is often meant to be a temporary measure rather than a permanent one. The court could step in if an amicable agreement cannot be reached, but the decision may not work for either party.
Finally, a separation agreement has no legal effect on a person’s marital status. Signatories to separation agreements are still legally married in the eyes of the law, so they cannot remarry until they dissolve their marriage.
Divorce proceedings in Roswell can be lengthy, contentious, and complex affairs, and the final decree could take months or longer to fully finalize. One potential alternative to a divorce is a separation agreement, which could speak to many of the same issues that could arise in a divorce while still maintaining the marriage in question.
If you have questions about the process and stipulations of a separation agreement, a seasoned attorney from our team may be able to help. A Roswell separation agreements lawyer could help you draft a mutually beneficial contract that protects your needs and rights as well as those of your family. Call today to speak to a member of our team and get started.