These laws vary by jurisdiction and not all states recognize legal separation. Those that do, allow the parties to the marriage to enter into legal agreements which address issues such as property division; assignment of assets, finances and debts; alimony or spousal support; child custody and child support. These agreements are recognized by a judicial body and are enforceable by law.
Grounds for obtaining a legal separation are often the same or very similar to those needed in that state to obtain a divorce. Some states refer to their form of legal separation as a limited divorce, and others as divorce from bed and board. In many instances, if the couple later seeks dissolution of marriage, the written agreement established for their legal separation may be converted or commuted to a divorce settlement.
In states that do not recognize legal separations, the methods of handling these issues may vary greatly. Some states still allow the spouses to enter into a written agreement addressing some or all of these issues, whereas others only allow this provision while a divorce between the spouses is pending. It is important to familiarize oneself with his/her state’s specific laws on this issue before proceeding. Currently, the following nine states do not recognize legal separations: Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Louisiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Idaho and Delaware.
For more information about individual separation laws, procedures and related topics for U.S. states, please visit our U.S. Divorce Law Center. Visit Us at Google+ Copyright HG.org
Separation Law - US
- Divorce and Separation - Overview
A divorce formally dissolves a legal marriage. While married couples do not possess a constitutional or legal right to divorce, states permit divorces because to do so best serves public policy. To ensure that a particular divorce serves public policy interests, some states require a "cooling-off period," which prescribes a time period after legal separation that spouses must bear before they can initiate divorce proceedings.
- Grounds for Legal Separation
Knowing the grounds for legal separation will help you prepare your case so you can quickly get the paperwork completed and start the process towards divorce. While not all of the following reasons for legal separation are valid in all states, it will help you start thinking about your defense.
- Legal Separation -Definition
a court-decreed right to live apart, with the rights and obligations of divorced persons, but without divorce. The parties are still married and cannot remarry.
- Separation Agreements
A separation agreement allows a husband and wife to agree on all of the same issues that would need to be decided upon divorce, including maintenance or alimony, division of marital property, child custody and child support. In most states a separation agreement must be entered into voluntarily, however, in some states a legal action can be taken in Court to obtain a separation. Although some states will enforce a verbal separation agreement, most states require that it be in writing and a few states require that the signatures be notarized for the agreement to be enforceable. In addition several states require the couple to actually separate (begin living apart) at the time, or just before, the separation agreement is created in order for it to be enforceable.
- Understanding Legal Separation
A legal separation is a written agreement that is filed with the court which addresses the rights and responsibilities of a married couple while they are living apart. Issues that can be addressed in a separation agreement include division of assets and debts, child custody and support, visitation schedules, alimony, etc.
Organizations Related to Separation Law
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers was founded in 1962, by highly regarded domestic relations attorneys “To provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law.” There are currently more than 1600 Fellows in 50 states. The Academy Fellows are highly skilled negotiators and litigators who represent individuals in all facets of family law. These areas include divorce, annulment, prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, marital settlement agreements, child custody and visitation, business valuations, property valuations and division, alimony, child support and other family law issues.
- Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
AFCC is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts - an interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.
- International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC).
IAMFC is an organization that promotes excellence in the practice of couples and family counseling by creating and disseminating first-class publications and media products, providing a forum for exploration of family-related issues, involving a diverse group of dedicated professionals in our activities, and emphasizing collaborative efforts.
Publications Related to Separation Law
- Filing for Legal Marriage Separation - Tips
It is estimated that 1 in 2 marriages will end in divorce. While divorce is common among couples who can't seem to get along, many are choosing another alternative. This involves obtaining a legal separation. Although some states require a six months to one year separation before a divorce can be filed, some married couples do not seek a divorce, instead, they choose to live in separate homes while remaining marry. There are benefits to this approach. For starters, it allows room for possible reconciliation.
- USDOL - Division of Retirement Benefits
More than 46 million private wage and salary workers are currently covered by employer-provided retirement plans in the United States. For many of these Americans, retirement savings represent one of their most significant assets. For this reason, whether and how to divide a participant's interest in a retirement plan are often important considerations in separation, divorce, and other domestic relations proceedings. While the division of marital property generally is governed by state domestic relations law, any assignments of retirement interests must also comply with Federal law, namely the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code). Under ERISA and the Code, retirement interests may be assigned only if the judgment, decree, or order creating or recognizing a spouse's, former spouse's, child's, or other dependent's interest in an individual's retirement benefits constitutes a "qualified domestic relations order" or "QDRO."
Articles on HG.org Related to Separation Law
- Seperation - Very often couples suffer a great deal, in the course of a marriage.These become painful and hard experiences. In many cases women experience bad treatment at the hands of their husbands for a long time and want to dissolve the marriage but often the husband threatens that he’ll never give a divorce.
- Factors Determining Child Custody under Georgia LawGoing through a divorce is difficult on everyone, but a divorce can be particularly hard when you and your partner need to determine who gets custody of the kids. GA child custody law keeps the best interests of the child in mind, and who receives child custody will depend on a variety of different factors. The guidance of an experienced lawyer from is imperative if you want to win custody after a divorce.
- U.S. Census Shows Fewer Divorces in NortheastThe results from the 2011 American Community Survey, published by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2012 showed that the state with the lowest percentage of divorced residents was New Jersey.
- The Cheapest Way to DivorceThe typical divorce process is very expensive and can cost upwards of $15,000. Using the method of divorce mediation instead, couples can save both time and money while ending their marriages.
- Equitable Distribution in New York State: How Property is Divided in DivorceWhen a couple divorces in New York State, how the parties’ property will be divided must be agreed upon between the spouses or determined by the court. The process of determining how to fairly divide property between two spouses is referred to as equitable distribution. This does not mean that property is divided 50/50 between each party, but rather, the court considers what each party contributed to the marriage and what each person’s needs are in order to fairly distribute marital property.
- Divorce, Privacy and ConfidentialityPrivacy and confidentiality are both huge concerns during the divorce process, so it's important to be proactive to protect your interests by speaking with a divorce attorney. In the meantime here are some helpful tips to help you out.
- How Family Law Attorneys Use Social Media for EvidenceSocial media users beware. What you post online can be used against you.
- What Belongs to Joint Property of Spouses? - ChinaBasically, properties gotten after marriage by husand and wife belong to joint property. Laws and regulations have specific articles on this subject. Let us review it.
- What Comes First: Bankruptcy or Divorce?It’s a reality that bankruptcy and divorce often coincide, but the question is, which should come first, bankruptcy or divorce? The answer to that question will depend on your individual set of circumstances and if you want to take the risk and wait.
- 10 Questions to Ask your Divorce Lawyer in Georgia: Part 2A divorce is a delicate matter that should be handled by both experienced and helpful divorce lawyer. Ask the right questions to find the attorney that best fits your needs!
- All Family Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Family Law including: adoption, alimony, child support and custody, child visitation, collaborative law, divorce, domestic violence, elder law, juvenile crime, juvenile law, juvenile probation, paternity, pre-nuptial agreement, separation.