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What you should know about legal separation

Taking the steps to get a legal separation in Charlotte, NC can be a difficult, confusing process. Some people are unsure of what to do while others wonder whether it’s even necessary to legally separate. The following information will help you get a better understanding of your situation. Also, keep in mind that while filing for separation is typically a preliminary step toward divorce, it is not the case in every situation.

Evaluate your situation

Even if you’re not sure whether you and your spouse can work together and come to an agreement, there are still benefits to filing for legal separation. More often than not, these situations are ones in which the couple or one member of the cple has large financial assets or where child custody could be an issue. In these cases a legal separation can help to set some ground rules for the situation, whether the couple moves toward divorce or not. Ultimately, this can limit confusion or further problems for the couple and their family.

Check your requirements

Depending on where you live, there may be special requirements for moving forward with a legal separation. Each jurisdiction can have different requirements, so check with your attorney before moving forward with a separation filing to ensure that you have completed everything appropriately. State residency rules are the most important part of verifying that you’re prepared for the separation. A separation can become effective instantly, unlike a divorce, which might take several months or years before a final decree is awarded.

Move forward

You will file a petition for the legal separation with the court. It’s recommended that you retain an attorney to help you from this point forward, since it can be complicated and require additional guidance. Your separation agreement will also be filed with the petition, and this agreement outlines financial arrangements for debts, spousal support, child custody, and any details about who will stay in what house. Marital assets can also be included in a separation agreement.

If you and your spouse choose not to file together, the spouse will have to be served with the paperwork. The spouse does have a right to counter the petition once they have been served if they do not agree with the provisions in the paperwork. Otherwise, the petition can be signed by the spouse and this will require a notary to make the paperwork official.

When the judge has reviewed the submitted information, it is transferred to the court clerk for official filing. Since this paperwork can be so critical, working with an attorney will help you to move through the process of separation as smoothly as possible with your rights represented and protected.

Attorney Jonathan Meek has guided many individuals through the process of legally separating. If you are thinking about filing for legal separation, contact Meek Law Firm today to discuss your case. Call (704) 848-6335 or use the contact form on the right of this page to schedule a consultation appointment.