If you and your spouse agree that things are not going well and it would be good for you both to have some time apart, you could go through the process of a legal separation, or you could just separate yourselves for a while. If you do this, you should make sure you get a separation agreement, though. This agreement will define the responsibilities, rules, and obligations for both of you, and here are the top three reasons you should get this agreement if you are splitting up for a while.
It May Help Prevent Problems and Misunderstandings
A separation agreement is very similar to a divorce decree after a divorce, as it contains a lot of different rules and instructions. When you separate, it is important to sit down and make some decisions about how to handle things during this time, and you should discuss the following types of things during this conversation:
- Who will live in the house and where the other person will live
- How you will divide your income and expenses
- Who will care for the kids and pay for the things they need
- Who is responsible for debts
- How visitation with the kids will work
- What rules you would like to create and follow in terms of dating or having other people around the children
You should include these types of details in your agreement, but you can also add agreements for other things too. For example, if there is a family member who is a bad influence, you may want to specifically state in the agreement that the children are not allowed to be around this person. Make sure you think of any and every issue you may have before you finalize the agreement, simply so that everything is covered in it.
By creating an agreement like this, you can both know what your responsibilities and obligations are, and this will typically help prevent problems and misunderstandings down the road.
It Will Help Prevent the Potential for One Spouse Suing the Other
When you have a separation agreement, it can be helpful for other reasons too. One thing it will help with is preventing the potential for your spouse to sue you. If your spouse thinks you are not handling something the right way and decides to sue you for compensation of this, the court will view the separation agreement to see what it says. As long as you are abiding by the agreements you made, your spouse would not have the right to sue you.
Having this agreement may give you the right to sue your spouse, though, if he or she is not following through with his or her responsibilities. For example, if your spouse is supposed to keep health insurance on the kids but fails to do this, you could take him or her to court and show that you both agreed that he or she would do this. You would easily win this case if there is proof in the separation agreement that you both agreed to this.
It Will Protect You Both from Financial Problems Caused by the Other Spouse
The other benefit of having a separation agreement is that it will offer protection for both of you when it comes to financial issues caused by the other party. For example, if your spouse racks up a huge credit card bill after you separate, you will not be responsible to pay this bill, even if you are a joint account holder on the credit card, as the debt incurred after the separation.
There are so many reasons you should get a separation agreement if you are splitting up with your spouse, even if you suspect the separation will not last long. If you would like to create a separation agreement, you should visit a family law firm, such as New Direction Family Law, that offers these services.