What is a Separation Agreement?
Sometimes it becomes necessary for spouses to separate from each other. Reasons for separation can vary drastically. One or the other spouse may be away from the family for extended periods of time, spouses may be facing relationship difficulties but don’t want to divorce. Parties may want to work through relationship issues or take additional time in determining whether a divorce is what they really want. A husband and wife may also be facing other life circumstances which may be temporary or that otherwise require that they separate for a period of time, including imprisonment. A separation agreement is often also referred to as legal separation or separate maintenance. Legal separations can be temporary or they can be made to last for an extended amount of time and be permanent.
Separate maintenance agreements provide for the same basic concerns as a divorce decree. They will cover child support, spousal support, visitation, awarding of property to one or the other spouse, specify who pays for debts, notify creditors of respective decisions, etc. These agreements can dictate how the parties will act and deal with each other and their children during the separation period.
Separation Agreement vs. Divorce
You might wonder what the difference is or why one would choose to be legally separated instead of just getting divorced. Some reasons may include: 1) receiving the benefits of a dependant spouse (insurance benefits, intestate inheritance, etc.). 2) It may be an alternative for parties who for religious or other reasons do not believe in getting divorced.
Termination of Agreement
The decree of separate maintenance terminates upon the death of either party and any obligation within the Decree may be terminated upon satisfactory proof of voluntary and permanent reconciliation.
Get Started with Utah Divorce Hotline
If you are considering separating from your spouse either temporarily or permanently, our attorneys at the law firm of Utah Divorce Hotline can help you set up an agreement to manage your resources and family responsibilities during the period of separation. It is vital that both spouses have a plan on how to care for the children and other marital property and assets during the separation, and to avoid future legal problems. Our attorney’s can help you decide whether divorce or separation is best for you and inform you on the pros and cons of each.
Call us at 801.618.1331 or contact us by email so that we can help determine the best plan for you.