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Why Couples Enter Into Marriage Separation Agreement in Washington?
According to Washington family law, married couples can enter into marriage separation agreements themselves or file for legal separation in a court of law. However, like divorce, separating couples will have to negotiate critical aspects like child custody, child support, child visitation, division of assets and liabilities, and spousal support.
Here are some vital aspects of understanding marital separation in Washington.
The Process of Washington Marital Separation
When entering a marital separation agreement in Washington, the parties involved must follow a legal process. It starts by filing an official petition with the court, which will assign a legal representative for each party involved (you and your spouse).
From here, you must attend mandatory mediation sessions to reconcile differences and try to agree on how things should proceed. If this does not work, then litigation may ensue.
However, given that legal separation is voluntary by both parties, it has generally been seen as less contentious than full-blown divorce proceedings.
Why Couples File for Legal Separation
Couples file for legal separation because of the following reasons:
They Are Not Sure Whether Divorce is The Best Course of Action
Many couples file for legal separation because they aren't sure they want to divorce. They believe they can reconcile the relationship, and when they do so, they can quickly reverse the legal separation. They will also not have to remarry because they were not divorced.
They're Concerned about the Welfare of Their Kids
Many couples want a divorce, but when they think about how it will affect their kids, they settle for legal separation until the kids are grown enough to take care of themselves.
Their Religion Prohibits Divorce
Some religions, like Jainism, Catholicism, and Hinduism, don't allow divorce. So couples who are of these religions choose legal separation instead.
They Want to Continue Enjoying Certain Benefits
When couples divorce, there are rules and financial boundaries that they're supposed to abide by. For example, in a legal separation, the husband or wife is still entitled to certain benefits like pensions, social security, tax, and medical insurance. These benefits are not available to divorced couples.
They Don't Want To Involve The Courts.
The law allows marriage separation agreements in Washington without involving the courts. But this can only happen if the couples agree on resolving key issues, such as child custody, child support, division of assets and liabilities, and spousal support/alimony. Some couples choose marriage separation agreements to avoid the time-consuming court processes and the expenses involved.
They Want To Separate Assets and Liabilities.
In a legal separation, the law requires that assets and liabilities be divided between the couple depending on several factors. In Washington State, the accumulation of assets and liabilities stops when a petition of legal separation is served. This means assets and liabilities accumulated after the service of legal separationare treated separately.
Accepted Grounds for Legal Separation in Washington State
In Washington State, legal separation is usually considered when one spouse decides to live apart from the other without filing for a divorce. A few specific grounds must be met for this to happen, including:
Physical violence or abuse,
Sexually transmitted disease,
Re-entry into the marital home after being ordered away by a court
Getting free Washington marital separation agreement forms can be challenging, especially if you do not know where to look. But forms.legal can help since we have all the types of legal separation documents that you may require. Simply explore our website and download and print the form, fill out the required details and submit it to the court.
Sample Washington Marital Separation
WA Marital Separation Agreement
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