A couple may decide to live apart from each other for some time if things aren’t going fine. In that time, they contemplate reconciliation or divorce. Regardless, this doesn’t mean that the marriage is legally over. Without an agreement, living apart has no legal backing. A couple is only legally separated after the court acknowledges their separation.
While separated, the legal rules apply like when married. This means that you’re still joint owners of finances, assets, and properties, depending on the laws of property ownership in your state. It is necessary to have a separation agreement that covers important issues in the union. Some of such issues include joint bank accounts, expenses, and custody of your kids.
What is a Separation Agreement?
A separation agreement is one signed by both parties. Separation agreements dictate the handling of many spousal issues while couples live apart. Issues like spousal support, child custody and property use. Whether you want reconciliation or divorce, a separation agreement will help. The document will state each spouse’s rights and duties to the other.
A separation agreement is technically not legally binding. In some states, some form of work is necessary to make your agreement legal. Your attorney must make an application to the court so that a judge can sign your separation agreement. An agreement without court backing provides no legal protection under the law if a spouse breaches the agreement.
Criteria For a Court Backing
It doesn’t take much for a separation agreement to get legal backing from the court. If both parties agree and state the terms and conditions in the agreement, with the aid of legal counsel, they are sure to get approval from the judge. It is important to get legal advice before creating a separation agreement.
It is also crucial that your separation agreement meets legal standards. If you agree to be a part of the divorce proceedings in the court, it must meet the following requirements:
- Both parties took legal advice before signing the agreement
- Both parties’ situations are widely like when the agreement was made
- Both parties made an honest financial declaration
Modifying a Separation Agreement
It is possible that as time passes by, you want to change certain parts of the agreement you made. For this to happen, both parties must agree on the new terms. It would help to get legal advice before making any changes to your agreement. If the agreement was court-ordered, you will need to apply to the court to modify the initial terms.
Why Do I Need a Separation Agreement?
There are benefits to entering a legal agreement while you and your spouse are apart. Not every couple may need to agree on this, but this document can be quite helpful. Here are some instances where a separation agreement will be beneficial
- If you are planning a divorce or have kids and need to split finances.
- If you intend to hasten the legal divorce process since you have already decided.
- The dependent spouse can get spousal support and post-separation support.
- If divorce conflicts with your values and religious beliefs, you can use this as an opportunity to work on your marriage while living apart.
Contact Our Office Today!
Getting legal advice before signing a separation agreement will help you make an informed decision. Contact GPS Law Group at 704-741-9957 for expert guidance. We target Charlotte, Gastonia, Concord, Huntersville, and surrounding communities in Mecklenburg County, Rowan County, Cabarrus County, Iredell County, and Gaston County, North Carolina.