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Why you need a formal agreement when legally separating

Every relationship goes through difficult times, but there may be a point where you and your spouse live apart for a while. Separating is not an easy choice, but it can provide you the opportunity to think through things before you make the decision to divorce. If you do decide that a separation period is best for your situation, you would be wise to consider drafting a formal agreement.

A formal separation agreement can provide benefits to both parties. Even though it is not a divorce agreement, it is still a formal contract, making it important to work with an experienced legal professional when drafting it. It is possible this agreement could become the foundation of a divorce order if you choose to move forward with that in the future.

Why separate?

Why should you and your spouse sign a formal separation agreement when one of you could simply move out? Without an agreement, there is nothing to protect your interests in terms of finances and shared child-related responsibilities. Separating also allows a Texas couple to remain married while living separate lives. Perhaps you are not ready to divorce, or maybe you have religious beliefs that prevent divorce. It also allows you to share insurance plans. In these situations, this is a practical option for you.

A separation agreement should address all of the issues that you would need to finalize if you were divorcing. This includes child custody, spousal support, child support, division of marital assets and more. You can also include terms that outline who will stay in the home and how the two parties will share costs for the house. Like a divorce agreement, you can custom-tailor a separation agreement to suit your individual needs and objectives.

Help from the start

Separation is a complex family law matter. It can be emotional, and you may be unsure if your marriage is over or you are simply going through a difficult time with your spouse. You may find it beneficial to discuss the option of a legal separation, a step that will provide both parties with the space and time they need to consider their future course of action.

At this time, you would be wise to consider how you can protect your interests. In a separation agreement, it is crucial to ensure you are not unnecessarily exposing yourself to risks and the potential for financial loss. Instead of making emotion-based decisions, you will want to think long term when considering your agreement.

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