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Your Rights in a Legal Separation

Legal separation has much in common with a divorce, and for some couples, it is only a stepping stone to getting a full-blown divorce. For other couples, it allows them to separate without violating their religious beliefs. Others find that legal separation gives them breathing space from their spouse as they try to sort out their relationship. In a legal separation, spouses are still legally married but live apart from one another. There may have to be a written legal agreement that addresses child custody, support payments, and more. But whatever the reason for getting a legal separation, it is important to understand one's rights throughout the separation.

What your rights are in the process of outlining the separation agreement will depend on your situation. For example, if there is a considerable disparity between both spouse's financial status, one spouse may have the right to temporary alimony. For a couple who has children, child support payments may be necessary. Sometimes, one spouse will have the right to stay in the family home, and perhaps the other spouse would still have to pay the mortgage. It would also have to be decided who is responsible for how much debt. A court would have to decide what is warranted in each situation.

However, if one spouse simply moves out, but neither spouse files for divorce, then they may be leaving their rights unprotected by failing to get a separation agreement. We could take as an example when spouses agree that one will pay the other support payments when one of them moves out. Then if that spouse stops paying after a while, a court cannot force those payments to be made, not if the other spouse did not protect their right to alimony in a legal agreement.

If you need to get a legal separation, then you need trustworthy legal counsel, a skilled family law attorney who can help you protect your rights through a fair agreement. Learn how our Long Island family law attorney can help you craft a separation agreement when you contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C.