Separations can signal the end of a marriage or perhaps just a break. Either way, couples need to consider the consequences of no longer being under one roof. The below tips should help you navigate this new phase in your life.
Speak to a Separation Attorney
Legal advice is invaluable at this time, even if you aren't ready to file for divorce yet. Separation carries with it a few legal issues that you don't want to ignore. Some time spent talking things over with a lawyer will help establish a relationship with a professional you can count on when tricky issues arise.
Make an Agreement
Separating couples, especially those with children and a lot of assets, may be better off if they codify their separation with a legal separation agreement. This type of agreement is recognized by the court and sets out provisions on child custody, visitation, handling expenses, who lives in the house, and more. A good, complete separation agreement also paves the way for divorce since most of the provisions addressed are identical to divorce provisions.
Consider Some Orders
You have the right to ask the judge to issue orders concerning several financial and custodial issues during the separation period. If you are taking care of the children of the marriage, for instance, you are probably entitled to child support. If things are contentious, the orders can be more preventative. For example, you can ask the judge to issue a restraining order that prevents your spouse from tinkering with your auto insurance coverage, using joint credit cards, selling marital property, and more.
Make a Budget
Your financial situation is probably already different because of the separation and more changes to your budget are coming. Taking a realistic look at your dollars and cents can be difficult. However, you must face the numbers so that you can make good decisions when it comes to spending, saving, marital debt, retirement, and more. Set up a new budget and evaluate your cash flow. If you need to be bringing in more income, now is the time to know that and act on it.
Think Hard About the Family Home
Many parting parties make the mistake of assuming that they will remain in the family home. However, make sure you understand the financial consequences before you decide. Don't make decisions based on an emotional attachment to a piece of real estate that you cannot afford to keep in good repair. Add up the costs of owning a home to see where you stand.
Let your family law or divorce attorney help you with your separation issues.
For more information, contact a local law firm or law professional, like John D Wieser Esq, PC.