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Relationships are hard, especially marriage. Sometimes marriages don’t last for a lifetime as things don’t work as the couple thinks it should. There comes a time when the couple decides that staying apart may do them good and also help resolve marital problems. When that decision is made, legal separation is the best option.
What is Legal Separation?
It is the time between marriage and divorce. It is a period where they are still legally married but living apart. A court sanctions an agreement between the husband and wife to ‘legally separate’. The agreement will include all the details like child custody and rights, property division, and more. The laws pertaining to providing legal separation status varies from state to state. For example: In Virginia, it is possible to have a separation agreement that is agreed upon and signed by both parties. It becomes legal and binding. But in some states, a formal divorce process has to start only after which any agreement between the couple is accepted by the court.
Benefits of Legal Separation
A legal separation is an option when the couple does not want a divorce which is considered a permanent end to their marriage. If you and your spouse have not reached that stage yet, an alternative arrangement is a legal separation where you live apart but are married. It gives time and perspective to couples to think if they should get a divorce or not. Not just that, legal Separation in Virginia will protect you in case the spouse does not fulfill the obligations. When you have a legal separation agreement you can go to the court if the terms are not honored by either party. There are many other financial benefits of having an agreement apart from providing peace of mind. Listed below are some of them:
Get Tax Benefits
If you are paying for the support of your spouse it can be claimed as a deduction while filing for your taxes. Note that spousal support has to be part of the legal separation agreement for you to get any tax benefits.
No Ambiguity on Payment
The legal separation document will state clearly who has to pay for what especially when there are mortgage payments and other bills to pay.
Can retain many Marital Benefits
There are certain marital benefits that can be retained when you opt for a legal separation. For example, if you are covered under your spouse’s health insurance, you can add it to the agreements and you can continue to be covered till you are divorced. Another advantage is that you can continue to file taxes if married instead of single.
Married couples often have joint accounts for savings, credit, and checking. Hence an agreement will clearly indicate whether they will have access to these joint accounts or not. It ensures that both parties are protected and indicates who has to pay what or who gets what. It also ensures that you are not held liable to make payments if your spouse incurs debt during separation.
If you are considering legal separation talk to an attorney as they can draw an agreement that helps both parties.