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What Is a Legal Separation?

Family lawyer little rock, ARAt the Harrelson Law Firm, you can feel confident about working with a family lawyer Bentonville, AR offers from our legal team. If you are interested in pursuing a legal separation from your spouse, a family lawyer in Bentonville, AR from our firm can handle the legalities for you. We understand that ending one’s marriage can be a very emotional experience for many people. Our attorneys offer compassionate and patient representation while protecting your rights.

The Definition of a Legal Separation

When a married couple ends their relationship they can choose to immediately begin divorce proceedings or they can separate. They can separate unofficially by taking up separate residences or they can opt for a legal separation. A legal separation is a court order that specifies what each spouse is responsible for but does not end their marriage. The couple can continue living as a legally separated couple or they can eventually choose to divorce.

What Is Included in a Legal Separation Agreement?

A family lawyer Bentonville, AR married couples work with from the Harrelson Law Firm can craft a legal separation agreement specifically for your needs. Generally, the issues it covers will be similar to what would be included in a divorce decree. Some of the most common items included in a legal separation agreement include:

  • Child support. Who will pay, who will receive, how much will it be?
  • Child custody. Will it be sole custody, shared, joint? How will holidays and other visitation times be handled? How will important decisions be handled when it comes to education, medical, and other needs of the child?
  • Spousal support. Who will pay, who will receive, how much will it be?
  • How will marital debts and assets be divided?

The Advantages of Getting a Legal Separation

Every situation is different and what may be best for one couple may not be the same for another couple. However, there are several reasons why many choose to get a legal separation instead of a divorce, at least initially. A family lawyer Bentonville, AR spouses trust for legal advice can provide you more information about any of the following advantages to a legal separation:

  1. It provides couples to spend time away from one another. It’s an opportunity to step back, to get away from some of the turmoil and extreme emotions that can make it difficult to make long-term decisions such as getting a divorce. It can offer a new perspective for each partner and help each decide if they’ll be happier with a permanent end to the marriage or a reconciliation. A Bentonville family lawyer from our firm can provide legal guidance for either decision.
  2. Because a legal separation does not end the marriage, it allows the couple to stay married for at least 10 years if they choose to do so. That 10 year time period can qualify them for military benefits such as retirement income. Also, each spouse may also then qualify for more social security benefits though they may have to meet additional criteria.
  3. Certain marriage benefits, such as healthcare through one spouse’s employer, can be retained by choosing to stay legally married though separated.

When You Need a Family Lawyer Bentonville, AR Respects

At the Harrelson Law Firm, a family lawyer Bentonville, AR residents place their trust in can help you with your family law matters; call us at (501) 374-2210.