Birmingham Legal Separation Lawyer
Relationships are complicated, even after a couple has been married for many years. If you and your spouse are experiencing difficulties, divorce may not be the only option. In Birmingham, as throughout the rest of Alabama, it is possible to obtain a legal separation and avoid the divorce process. Below, our Birmingham legal separation lawyer explains more.
Separation vs. Divorce: What is the Difference?
Divorce and legal separation do have their similarities, but there are important differences between the two, as well. During a divorce, a family law judge will make decisions on child custody and support, the division of marital property, and spousal support. Once the process is over, the couple is no longer legally married and either party is free to remarry.
Issues such as child custody and the division of property are addressed during a legal separation, as well. A separation agreement is drafted and this contract outlines the different terms. However, during a legal separation, the couple is still married even though they are now living separate and apart. If, at any point in the legal separation, one spouse wishes to remarry, they will have to ask the case to convert the separation case into a divorce.
How to Obtain a Legal Separation in Birmingham
Couples can agree to the terms of a legal separation and draft an agreement addressing the terms on their own. To qualify for a legal separation, at least one spouse must have lived in Alabama for at least six months. At least one spouse must always wish to live separate and apart from their partner.
Before a judge will grant a legal separation, you must have grounds, or a reason, for your request. You can state no-fault grounds and convince the court that your marriage is irretrievably broken. If you and your spouse have drafted a separation agreement, the judge will review it to ensure it is fair to both parties. If you and your spouse could not reach an agreement, the judge will make all decisions about the terms of the separation. Once all terms have been resolved, the judge will issue a court order, making the legal separation official.
Once the legal separation is official, you and your spouse can live separate and apart, spend your money in the manner you wish, and even enter into a new relationship. Whatever property is obtained or income is earned during the legal separation, it is considered separate property. This means if you and your spouse divorce in the future, this property is not subject to division.
Our Legal Separation Lawyer in Birmingham Can Advise On Your Case
Even if you and your spouse agree to legally separate, it is still beneficial to speak to a Birmingham legal separation lawyer. At Peeples Law, our Birmingham legal separation lawyer can negotiate with your spouse on your behalf to obtain the best terms possible. We can then draft an agreement that is fair and enforceable by the courts. Call us now at 205-403-5577 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.