How is Legal Separation Different from Divorce?
There is usually confusion between legal separation and divorce. In the Alabama Code Sections 30-2-40, the law states that “A legal separation is a court determination of the rights and responsibilities of a husband and wife arising out of the marital relationship. A decree of legal separation does not terminate the marital status of the parties.”
In most States, married couples have to separate and wait for a period dictated by the State to lapse before they can file for divorce. In Alabama, there is no such waiting period, although a married couple can enter a status of marital legal separation in Alabama to protect their assets, even without getting a divorce.
For separation to be deemed legal and recognized by the court, the parties have to file the proper documents with the Domestic Relations Court, have them approved by a judge so that it is termed as a court order. The order will stipulate the rights and obligations of both parties, and going against it would be in contempt. It will also be actionable. It’s of utmost importance for the order to be drafted by an attorney to cover all requirements.
Is Legal Separation the Right Thing ?
Married couples view divorce as only necessary when they cannot resolve their differences. Most people will prefer legal separation for these reasons;
- They think the marriage is salvageable.
- They want to have child support evidence in writing, and they want it to come directly from the other party’s paycheck.
- Religion or other pertinent issues will not allow them to get divorced.
- They want evidence in writing that shared bills such as mortgage will still be paid.
Alabama legal separation agreement will cover just about everything a divorce will cover. They will include child support, temporary obligation of debts and bills, the person responsible for paying insurance, child custody, temporary alimony, and any other thing the parties want included. The agreement will allocate responsibilities and rights of each party so that none feels oppressed.
The agreement will be filed in court and become a legally enforceable court order. The parties can dissolve it anytime to go back to their regular marital status, or file for divorce again, at any time. There’s no waiting period for divorce in Alabama.
Legal separation is not for everyone. It works well for some, while others may be served better by a divorce. There will be several factors to consider other than the above, which we will expound to make the decision clearer for you. Contact us today for all the questions you may have on marital separation agreements in Alabama.
Whether you live in Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Hoover, Dothan, Auburn or any other city of Alabama, you can use our legal forms easily.