Atlanta Separation Agreement Lawyer
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Generally, the only things that would render a separation agreement invalid are if any part of the agreement is fraudulent or was agreed upon under duress by one party.
Technically, you can write your own separation agreement, but since it can have serious legal ramifications down the road, it is always a good idea to work with an experienced attorney on the creation of the agreement.
If you and your ex have decided to separate in preparation for a divorce, there are some things you should avoid doing as they could complicate matters down the road. Some of these include:
- Posting vicious or incendiary remarks on social media
- Flaunting a new relationship in front of your ex or your children
- Bad mouthing your ex to your children
- Opening any accounts jointly, or attempting to dispose of any joint assets
Read on to learn the basics of legal separation and how an Atlanta separation agreement lawyer can help you better navigate this difficult situation.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
While legal separations and divorces may seem similar, they are not the same thing. In some circumstances, legal separations may be the first step toward a divorce. However, in other circumstances, spouses may stay legally separated or even reconcile. While a legal separation is a binding contract, spouses are not required to go to court to finalize this agreement as they would be with an official divorce. Unlike divorce proceedings, a judge does not have to be involved with legal separations at all.
While there are differences between the two, both legal separation and divorce allow for the following:
- Property Division
- Child Custody
- Child Visitation Schedule
Legal Separation in Georgia
While you and your spouse may not be quite ready to file for divorce, you may have also come to realize that some sort of separation is needed. A legal separation is an alternative to divorce. Traditionally, a legal separation transpires when spouses decide to live separately without the formal ending or their marriage through a divorce. Unfortunately, Georgia law does not grant legal separation between spouses. However, the state does recognize and grant what is referred to as a "separation agreement."
What is a Separation Agreement?
A "separation agreement" allows spouses to remain married while also having a court oversee marital issues, arrange custody agreements, and make property divisions. Essentially, a separation agreement is a contract between spouses intended to resolve disputes relating to marital affairs.
How to Qualify for a Separation Agreement in Atlanta
- You are your spouse must be legally married.
- You and your spouse must be living separately with zero cohabitation.
- Neither you nor your spouse has filed for a divorce yet.
What To Include in a Separation Agreement
- Custody of Children
- Marital Property
- Marital Debt
- Bank Accounts
- Investments for Retirement Plans
- Anything Else That Impacts Your Family
Reasons to Consider a Separation Agreement
Choosing legal separation over divorce is a very personal decision. It is something that you and your spouse must decide on together based on your situation and what you believe is the best solution for your marriage and family. Some situations that may call for the creation of a separation agreement rather than a divorce include:
- If you and your spouse need space from each other for the time being but intend to remain married long-term.
- If you and your spouse are at a crossroads, currently living separately, and are unsure of what the future holds for your marriage.
- If you and your spouse want to live separately but wish to maintain your legal relationship status.
Benefits of a Separation Agreement
Choosing legal separation over divorce is a very complex and personal decision that you and your spouse must decide together. However, if you do decide to go the separation agreement route, some benefits of this decision include:
- You and your spouse will be able to come to an agreement on the separation of your assets that you agree is fair to both of you outside of a court.
- You will likely save more money with a separation agreement compared to divorce as there is less time spent in court for litigation or other divorce proceedings.
- You will also likely save time with a separation agreement as you will not have to spend time trying to divide up your marital finances and responsibilities in front of a judge.
- You and your spouse will also receive more privacy through a separation agreement as opposed to a divorce. Separation agreements do not have to be filed with the court and remain private legal documents that nobody besides you and your spouse has access to view.
Suppose you believe a separation agreement rather than a divorce is a better option for you and your spouse. In that case, it's time to consult with an experienced Atlanta separation agreement lawyer today. While not required, it is highly recommended that you and your spouse use separate attorneys when drawing up a separation agreement. If both spouses use the same attorney, a judge may question the validity of the document if a divorce ensues down the road.
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Whether you need help with a divorce or a child custody matter, have a landlord-tenant issue or are trying to obtain citizenship or get a visa, we can help. Let us help guide you on your next step.
Consult with an Experienced Atlanta Separation Agreement Lawyer Today
We understand that separation is a difficult decision to make, filled with much complexity. If you have more questions regarding separation agreements or would like to begin the process of creating a legal separation document, please consult with one of our experienced Atlanta Separation Agreement Lawyers today. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you better navigate this complex situation.
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