For various reasons, some spouses who are considering divorce decide to obtain a legal separation first. A divorce attorney in Walker, MN can help them set up this arrangement and file the paperwork with the court. A legal separation is often chosen when the couple is not sure they really want to end the marriage. It may also be the better option under certain financial circumstances. When is it better to file for a legal separation instead of simply living apart for a while?
If the couple has children, a legal separation is important to set forth guidelines. One of the parents may bring in significantly more income than the other, so child support may be an important factor for the other parent. This is the case if the other parent has primary physical custody or shared physical custody. Support arrangements can be detailed in a legal separation agreement.
Child Custody and Visitation
A divorce attorney in Walker, MN will recommend creating a custody or visitation schedule to be filed legally. If the parents simply set up an informal arrangement, it’s possible that one parent will attempt to make changes the other parent disagrees with. Documenting the schedule in the legal separation prevents this. Changes can be made, but they will need to be documented with the court.
A legal separation is important for documenting which person is responsible for bill payments or percentages of those payments. Even though one individual has moved out of the family home, that person may still need to pay for half or more of the mortgage if there is no other way to keep the property. Other responsibilities might be allocated to only one spouse. The spouse who continues living in the family home may agree to pay the entire electric bill, for example.
No matter what the reason is for a couple to prefer to separate but not file for divorce, they can file for a legal separation to protect both of their interests regarding finances and the children. Contact Borden Steinbauer Krueger & Knudson, PA for more information about the process.