Indianapolis, IN Family Law Attorneys for Legal Separation
Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. It requires a division of assets and dissolves the union that was created in marriage. If you are unsure whether or not divorce is the best option for you, you may be interested in a legal separation.
Some couples choose to file a legal separation while they work through issues and make a decision about viability of the marriage. A legal separation allows for court orders to be filed for issues like child custody, child support, and temporary division of assets while keeping the marriage intact.
Length of Separation
A legal separation in Indiana can last for a maximum of 12 months and is not required in order for a couple to seek a divorce. At any point during the legal separation, a couple can choose to end the separation and continue the marriage or file for divorce—there is no need to wait 12 months to make a decision.
During the legal separation, a couple is still considered married by the state of Indiana. This means that the spouse is still eligible for life and health insurance benefits under the other’s plan. It also means that both spouses are responsible for the marital debts, which would not be the case in a divorce.
Child Custody, Child Support, and Spousal Maintenance
You may determine a need to execute an agreement for child custody and support and spousal maintenance during your legal separation depending on your specific situation. If this is the case, it is important for you to seek the advice of an experienced Indianapolis family law attorney who can advise you of your legal rights.
A legal separation does not end a marriage. For this reason, some couples may believe that they can “save money” by filing the petition with the court without the assistance of a lawyer. Even though a legal separation does not end the marriage, it is still a legal proceeding that may involve written agreements for child or spousal support payments and a temporary division of assets.
You can best protect your rights by hiring a lawyer to provide you with legal advice regarding your obligations and options related to the separation. An experienced family law lawyer at Cohen & Malad, LLP can also discuss the differences between choosing a legal separation and filing for divorce based on your unique circumstance. Having a knowledgeable Indianapolis legal separation lawyer help you file a legal separation can ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us to begin the process.