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Couples who are married and recognize that they either want to ultimately be divorced in the future or that they merely do not want to live together anymore, may want to seek a legal separation. Separation by law involves filing a petition with the court whereby a decree may be entered giving and recognizing important rights and obligations between the spouses while they live apart. It does not terminate the marriage or sever the marital bonds, but it does provide certain benefits to the parties.
That is, parties can obtain a legal separation during the pendency of a complicated divorce in order to seek to stop the time as to developing alimony or marital property obligations of one party to another. A legal separation decree may establish rules between the spouses regarding such issues as child custody, visitation, and spousal maintenance (alimony). A legal separation decree can also divides property and usually debt that was acquired during the marriage.
This is a good time to determine who will pay what bills, whether the spouses may date other people, who will pick the children up from school, how the parties will handle their bank accounts, who can possess which of the parties’ current assets, and how the two spouses want to communicate, i.e., telephone, email, text.
Be careful that you do not establish a precedence that hurts you in a later divorce
Spouses need to be careful when pursing a legal separation, because it can establish precedence for a possible later divorce. If one spouse moves out of the home, this could greatly reduce that spouse’s later claim to the home because he or she can be deemed to have abandoned it. Thus, it is important that the language of the separation agreement be clear as to the intent of the parties if one spouse moves out, that is, that the parties agree that such relocation of the one spouse does not constitute abandonment or in any way reduce the spouse’s claim to said house. Likewise, separation agreements regarding child custody and asset and debt management must be carefully handled to avoid causing one spouse prejudice later.
Legal separation can be used for circumstances when the parties simply do not want to reside together as a married couple but do not want to be legally divorced, when the parties are having difficulty in their marriage and want to test the waters for divorce or reunification, or when the parties plan on filing a motion later to convert the legal separation decree to a divorce decree to dissolve the marriage.
Why Trupiano Law Is Successful
- Aggressive — Although attorney Kim Trupiano works to find resolutions where they can be obtained, she prepares for trial, not for settlement. Kim exploits any hole in the other side’s case to gain advantage and maximize the positive outcomes for her clients.
- Thorough — Kim’s attention to detail is essential to challenging evidence in court proceedings and producing a strong evidentiary case for her client, including strongly-backed and detailed motions for relief.
- Compassionate — She eases client concerns by taking the time to explain clients’ rights, explore their options and keep them updated about progress in the case.
- Creative — Kim does her homework to raise new defense and affirmative relief theories, or to negotiate alternative resolutions and outcomes.
Contact Trupiano Law in Salt Lake City, Utah, for experienced legal counsel. Call 801-266-0166 for a telephone consultation or for an in-office meeting to go over your case.
Call Trupiano Law at 801-266-0166 or contact her online.