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Everything You Should Know About Georgia Marital Separation
A legal separation in Georgia is the suspension of marital relations between couples without entirely dissolving the marriage. The process often begins when the couples decide to divorce while no longer engaging in marital relations.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that Georgia law does not recognize legal separation but allows couples a process called separate maintenance, which is the alternative to divorce. Separate maintenance is like divorce, enabling the couple or the judge to resolve issues such as child custody, child support, and alimony problems.
However, when the separate maintenance process ends, couples live different lives but remain legally married until one or both spouses request a formal divorce from the court. In separate maintenance, the law prohibits the judge from dividing or awarding property during the claim.
This means no splitting of marital assets with your spouse unless you file for divorce. For couples in Georgia to qualify for separate maintenance, they must demonstrate the following:
That they are legally married
That they are living separately
Neither spouse has filed for divorce
What Does a Separation Agreement in Georgia Entail?
A marriage separation agreement in Georgia involves writing the terms of your separation into a legal document known as the separation agreement. This document requires you and your spouse to work together to make vital decisions about your relationship after the breakup.
For instance, you will need to decide how to allocate custody, which spouse will pay child support, whether spousal support is necessary, and visitation issues. A separation agreement also highlights the terms by which spouses share finances, marital property, vehicles, and anything else that affects their family.
The date of your separation is crucial to your separation agreement. Even though you are legally married, Georgia law applies to any property that either partner purchases while separated. For this reason, you should include the date of your separation and how you will divide any property or debt acquired after the separation. Another vital aspect to note is that before you file for separate maintenance, one of you must have lived in Georgia for a minimum of 30 days.
Why You Should Consider a Marital Separation in Georgia
With a marital separation in Georgia, you can be sure to get emotional or financial security during that period. When the agreement is complete, you will find solutions to issues such as child support and spousal support. Once you submit the agreement, the responsible judge will sign it, becoming effective as a court order.
If reconciliation is impossible after the judge signs the separate maintenance order, you can incorporate the separation agreement into a final divorce decree. This can save you time and money, considering there are no pending divorce-related issues.
If you and your partner separate but cannot agree on terms of support, you can ask the court to determine them. These include child custody, child support, visitation, and spousal support. The judge will assess your case and issue a final court order.
The Georgia Supreme Court recognizes that temporary support agreements during separation are not realistic, especially in the long run. In addition, such contracts are exempted during the final trial because they may confuse the jury. This is why the court only focuses on the couple's current financial situation.
If you and your spouse are considering a marital separation in Georgia, forms.legal is here to simplify the process with our printable separation documents. We offer all types of legal separation forms that may suit your unique situation. Here on our website, download and print the template, and fill in the required information.
Sample Georgia Marital Separation
GA Marital Separation Agreement
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