4 WAYS A SEPARATION CAN BE THE SAME AS A DIVORCE
Often, a separation comes before a divorce. Couples may wish to make this a legal separation, which means they sit down and figure out their legal rights and responsibilities while living apart. They are still married, but the separation can in many ways be like a divorce.
Four ways that these situations are similar include the following:
- The couple has to consider child custody. For both parents to be involved, it is important to have an official custody schedule that both parents need to follow.
- If the child lives with just one parent, then the other parent typically needs to have visitation rights. It is often wise to have an official schedule so that both parents are on the same page and the child knows what to expect.
- Property that the couple owns may need to get divided. For instance, what if you share a car? Who gets it after you legally separate? You have to consider income, debt, retirement funds, investments, physical property, financial assets and everything else that you own together.
- One spouse may need to pay separation maintenance to the other. This can help with things like child support and spousal support. Those financial needs still exist during a separation.
Your marriage may not be over, but it is still very important for you to know all of your legal rights and what steps you need to take. Carefully consider where you stand when you and your spouse decide to separate. It is also important to remember that a separation may lead to a divorce in the near future.