A lawyer is frequently required to promote communication and the legal processes. Preparing a separation agreement is vital as the first step in either trying to end the relationship through divorce or reuniting. Depending on the jurisdiction in which these actions are done, legal help may also offer guidance and data.
Divorce vs. Separation
It’s critical to realize that a separation—even one that is perpetual—is not the same thing as a divorce.
Parties are not reinstated to single status upon separation. Even if they don’t live together, the marriage is still considered valid legally. They can date other individuals, but they are not allowed to marry them. Separated individuals frequently continue to be covered by one other’s health and life insurance policies.
The couple must use the married filing separately or head of household status on their tax returns (if they have been physically apart for a minimum of six months). However, joint filing can still be an option if the separation agreement is informal and not filed with the court.
Do you need a lawyer for separation?
Online separation agreement templates are available. However, not everyone can benefit from such an option. In some circumstances, each side should have legal counsel to assist in negotiating the parameters of the agreement.
A settlement agreement is, after all, a legally enforceable contract between the parties. The other spouse may take the non-complying spouse to court to have the agreement enforced. Therefore, it’s crucial to comprehend the requirements and how to adhere to them.
The terms of the agreement must also be understandable and enforceable. An attorney has the training and expertise to make sure of that. Before speaking with a St. Louis divorce settlement lawyer who can describe how a court might rule your case, it can be difficult to know what rights you have.
Legal counsel may be required for separation agreements if:
- Fair negotiating is impossible because of the relationship’s power and control dynamic.
- Violence against women is a problem in the relationship.
- One party feels under pressure to sign the contract.
- One party alone engaged a lawyer in this case.
- Either party acquired substantial wealth during the marriage or subsequently.
- The relationship between the parties is very conflictual.
Having legal representation may also make it simpler to file a lawsuit against the non-compliant party. Finding lawyers ready to assist with the enforcement of separation agreements they did not draft is not always simple.