Today, more Georgia couples are opting for a legal separation as a strategy to avoid the pitfalls associated with divorce. Legal separation also allows couples in Marietta to address important issues such as alimony, division of debt, and custody or child support without going through an actual divorce. There are some who argue that a legal separation is a more fiscally sound choice than divorce, but it is important to also ensure that you protect yourself if you choose to separate.

One of the most important things a couple who is separating must do is to obtain a written separation agreement. Without an agreement, you will continue to be responsible any debts incurred by your spouse after the time of separation. As a separated couple is still legally married, debt collectors can contact the other spouse in an attempt to collect upon debt if there is no formal separation agreement. The agreement is also a legally binding document that can be used for the purposes of establishing a custody agreement and child support payments.

Child support, alimony, and other issues can be legally resolved in a separation, and this can also be the basis for a settlement if you do decide to divorce at some point in time in the future. Choosing a separation as opposed to divorce will allow you to maintain benefits such as insurance under your spouse’s plan, as well as continuing to file joint taxes, that may have positive financial benefits.

If you are separated from your spouse and are considering staying separated without getting a divorce, make sure that you speak with a family law attorney that can craft a written separation agreement. This protects you and your assets, while also setting up legally binding guidelines for your separation.

Source: Forbes, “Legal Separation or Divorce: Which is Better Financially?” Jeff Landers, Jan. 10, 2012