Spouses may elect to live apart when contemplating divorce, but some couples struggle to detangle themselves during this transitionary phase. Couples who have minor children, manage a joint business, or rely on a single income may need certain legal protections during trial separation periods. In these cases, dedicated family counsel can help you petition for legal separation.
A New Haven separation agreement lawyer can help you obtain benefits such as alimony, child support, and property rights while you contemplate marital dissolution.
The state permits couples to petition for legal separation or divorce under Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-40. Petitioners must cite the grounds for legal separation just as they would during divorce proceedings. These may include fault-based grounds such as adultery, abuse, and abandonment. Spouses may also petition for legal separation on no-fault grounds such as “irretrievable breakdown” of the relationship.
Legal separation allows spouses to live as a divorced couple but not remarry. Couples separating without a legal decree may still incur marital debt and obligations. It is best for spouses to speak with a local attorney before separating to avoid these liabilities.
Binding separation contracts should generally include the same provisions as divorce settlements. Although they might include additional clauses aimed at reconciliation. Recommended provisions may include:
Child support, custody, or visitation rights addressed in separation agreements must be reviewed by the court. However, parents may work with legal counsel to develop a proposed plan. Spouses may also work with their New Haven separation agreement lawyers to draft child-rearing provisions, such as religious upbringing and education, in a contract to separate.
Legally separated spouses might live apart while working to resolve any marital disputes. If a couple is able to resolve their issues, they may file a joint declaration of resumption of marital relations under Con. Gen. Stat. § 46b-65. This will terminate the separation contract and end the case.
One or both spouses may also petition for a decree dissolving the marriage whereby a separation contract can be converted to a finalized divorce settlement. Any couple wishing to terminate their contract or file for divorce should consider contacting a separation agreement lawyer in the area.
Couples choosing to separate may benefit from retaining a family attorney who can negotiate the terms of their arrangement. An experienced New Haven separation agreements lawyer can help you prepare for potential divorce or draft a contract that encourages reconciliation.
If you need a break from the legal implications of marriage, our dedicated team can help you negotiate a joint separation plan or advocate for your individual rights during legal proceedings. Contact us today to discuss your case.