Separation Law is a branch of family law that is related to the divorce law. It embraces processes, rules and regulations that married couples have to follow when they are no more interested to live together as a married couple, but are yet to decide whether or not to go with the divorce proceedings.
The separation laws differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and not all states have legal separation laws in place. The states that permit legal separation laws allow married couple to enter into legal agreements to take care of issues like property distribution; transfer of assets, savings and debts; allowance or spousal support; who will have the custody of child/children and child support. The agreements reached are acknowledged and are enforceable by law.
1. Legal separation
The conditions for obtaining a legal separation are frequently the same or related to those required in the particular state to secure a divorce. A number of states recognize their type of legal separation as a limited divorce, while others refer to it as divorce from bed and board. In a number of occasions, if the couple afterwards seeks termination of marriage, the written agreement filed for their legal separation may be transformed or converted to a divorce settlement.
Laws governing Legal Separation differ from state to state and a few states have no such laws in place. In states that have no legal separation laws in place, may tackle these issues differently. A number of states still permit the spouses to enter into a written agreement that takes care of a few or all of these issues, while others merely permit this provision during the time process of divorce is going on.
It is significant to get acquainted with your state’s specific laws on this issue before starting the process. At present, the states that have no legal separation laws are: Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Louisiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Idaho and Delaware.
You’d need to visit the US Divorce Law Center to get information on the specific separation laws that apply to each of the states where the law is recognized.
2. Trial separation
A trial separation means a period when spouses live separately to settle on whether or not they want to go on with their marriage. The trial separation has no actual legal consequence, as opposed to a legal separation in which the married couples are given a court order to implement specific property divisions and duties.
Any property or debt obtained during the period of the trial separation is still taken as being acquired during the time the couple was married, and therefore, perhaps as marital property. This applies even when the couple eventually did not come back together. The situation continues to hold until one party to the marriage decides to end the marriage. However, this depends on the law that is existent in the particular state that is involved.
3. Living apart
There are occasional circumstances when couple lives apart with no intention to continue with the marriage. In addition, a few states have regulations that need couples that want to file a no-fault divorce to live apart for a chosen period of time. Living apart from each other can have an effect on their property distribution. Property and debt obtained during the time that they are separated is grouped differently. However, it depends on the state where the couple lives. A number of states establish the property categorization based on whether or not one of the spouses has an intention to terminate the marriage contract.
4. Permanent separation
As soon as couples decide to go their separate ways, this is referred to as a permanent separation. This permanent separation perhaps has no legal effect in contrast to a legal separation in which one of the spouses must file an official separation procedure in court. The majorities of states classify all property and debts obtained after a permanent separation as a distinct property of the spouse who acquired it. Debts that are attained by one of the spouses after a permanent separation, but prior to a final divorce, and are utilized to cater to the needs of the family are shared between the two spouses. These debts may include things like house rents, family and house maintenance, and expenses for the upkeep of children.