Legal Separation Agreement Have These Financial Benefits

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

orange county divorce mediation attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsAre you having problems in your marriage and considering separating legally from your spouse? If it is so then you should ask your attorney to prepare a document for legal separation where both you and your spouse should sign to make it effective. But, it is important to note that legal separation is not recognized in all the states. The process will be smooth in those States that recognize it. If you are residing in a state that does not allow legal separation you can speak with an attorney who specializes in the local family law about what will be your choices in case you want to legally separate from your spouse. While in doing e States both the spouses can sign a separation agreement, which then becomes binding and legal.  However, there are states where the court will only recognize an agreement after the beginning of the divorce process.

To put it simply, when your legal separation document is filed with a local court, it serves as your first line of defense while both of you are legally separated and when your spouse does not fulfill his or her obligations mentioned in that agreement.

To claim deduction for spousal support paid

When you are paying spousal support to your partner, you can only claim the amount for a tax deduction if such payments are mentioned in your legal separation agreement. When you live separately without any legal separation document, any money that you pay to your spouse will not get deducted while filing your returns. If your state does not recognize legal separation, you can get in touch with a good tax attorney in your locality to know how to safeguard yourself in tax-related matters and if the money paid as spousal support could be claimed during tax deduction.

Your legal separation agreement also allows you to retain some benefits that enjoyed while being married

Suppose you are a spouse whose name is included in the health insurance plan of your spouse. It can be mentioned in the legal separation document that such benefits are to continue even while you live separately. When the incomes of both the spouses are used for making bill payments during their marriage, the agreement can mention if such an arrangement will continue. In case it discontinues, the agreement can also outline who will pay those bills now.

When both of you own a home, the agreement can outline who will be accountable for paying what

There are various issues that come up while maintaining a home like maintenance lawn cars, mortgage payments, and utilities. A legal separation document can outline which spouse will pay for what?

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation

Differences between Separation and Divorce

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsMany people get confused between the terms ‘separation’ and ‘divorce’. In a divorce, the marriage has legally broken up and the married couple is separated. In a separation, the couple lives separately but they may or may not still be married. Separation is of different kinds.

The division of property and other assets depends on the kind of separation the couple has agreed on. Each state has its own rules regarding division of property. The various kinds of separation have been discussed here.

Trial separation – Couples living apart for a short period on a trial basis go through trial separation. It is during this period that they decide if they want to live separately on a permanent basis or not. Even if they decide not to start living together, their assets and debts from the trial period is considered as marital property. Such a separation is not recognized legally.

Living apart – Couples who do not live under the same roof anymore are living apart. Living apart (with no intention to get back together), in some states, changes the property rights of the couple. While some states will consider the assets and debts during the living apart period as separate, other states will consider the property as joint until a divorce has been legally filed in a court. Some states make it mandatory for couples to live separately for a certain period of time before they can file for a divorce.

Permanent separation – It is when the couple decides to separate permanently. A permanent separation may come after a trial separation or the couple may separate without any intention of reuniting. The assets or debts after a permanent separation are considered to be separate. But certain debts incurred may be considered as joint if they are related to expenditures for the children or for the maintenance of the marital home. A permanent separation may not be legal if nobody files for a legal separation.

Legal separation – It is somewhat like a divorce but not quite so. Many a times, couples do not want to divorce for financial, religious, or other reasons. But they approach a court to grant them a separation and divide their property as would be done in a divorce. The court also gives a ruling on alimony, child custody, child support, and visitation rights.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation