Are there any reprecussions from separating with my husband? 16 Answers as of June 01, 2011

We are married, but if my husband and I want to separate and live apart temporarily to try and work out differences, are there legal ramifications to consider? Especially if there are children? If we do not do a legal separation, can issues come up if we decide to divorce and there is a dispute?

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
The earnings of each party during separation are the separate property of the earner. Things purchased with separate property are separate property. Who is going to have the children? Is child or spousal support going to be paid, and if so, how much per month. What will happen if the payor doesn't pay? These are some of the considerations regarding separation that you will need to evaluate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/1/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
There is no such thing as an "illegal" separation, so there are no legal repercussions from a voluntary decision to live separately for any length of time. However, the longer you live apart without resolving your differences, the more complicated it might be if you eventually decide to dissolve the marriage. To avoid current disputes and to provide the groundwork for an amicable resolution of issues upon divorce without creating more conflict, you should attempt to reach some mutual understandings concerning the terms of your "temporary" separation. Those understandings should include financial issues, payment of debts & credit accounts, residence of the children and the sharing of parenting time. Those agreements will not necessarily be permanent or binding in the event of divorce, but they will reduce or minimize the conflict that could prevent a successful reconciliation.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/1/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
There is no such thing as legal separation in Texas. So, there are no real ramifications from a physical living apart if that is what you want to know. There can be ramifications based on what each of you do during this time. Who has the kids, who pays support, does either party refuse to see the kids, support the kids, provide support, etc. But the separation itself is not significant.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/1/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
You may consider documenting your separation, so that there are no allegations of abandonment, in the event you decide to divorce. I hope you can work it out for the kids' sake. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/1/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
If you separate without consulting counsel, you may, in fact, inadvertently impair your rights in a subsequent divorce or legal separation action. For example, relocating from a family residence may create a status quo where a court is less inclined to award you occupancy of the homestead pending a dissolution or ultimately award you the property. By the same token. the family home is often considered the point of stability for children in a divorce. Relocating from tat home could damage any custody case.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/31/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend that you contact a divorce attorney concerning your rights and options, including discussing the option of getting everything in writing, in a separation agreement, or possibly filing a separate maintenance action, especially if there are children. Of course, you will need help from a divorce attorney in your own community. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    If the children are with you most of the time, that will be good. If he wins the lottery while you are separated, that will be an issue.Best to consult with a family law attorney. Many do so for free.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Many people separate temporarily to work on their issues without any formal legal separation. You need to keep communication open regarding very important issues such as parenting time with the children, support of the children; paying the bills; etc. It should not cause much issue in a divorce is you both are cooperating in these areas during the separation.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You would need to discuss your circumstances in detail with an attorney in your area. Many like our firm have a free initial consultation. In general there is a duty to support your spouse and children and without court orders neither of you have a superior right to the children's custody.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, the two of you are certainly free to live separately. You might create some precedents that would influence the outcome if you do eventually divorce, such as the time that the children spend with each of you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    You should consult a PA lawyer with this question. In Washington, it likely will not matter most. Personally, if you think a trial separation will save your marriage and you both agree, then go for it! Best of luck to you both.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    The only issue that would arise is if you ultimately decide to divorce. By physically separating, that could be the end of the marriage for purposes of calculating the duration of the marriage (date of marriage to date of separation). Date of separation will determine the respective interests in assets and debts, as well as whether or not an asset or debt is community or separate property. As for the children, the schedule that the two of you work out could set a precedent for a future order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Yes, and yes. I'd suggest you call a local family law lawyer to discuss the particular facts of your situation to learn of the potential consequences as they relate to various issues, such as support, custody, etc. All your legal rights and obligations, depending in your particular circumstances, cannot be fully described in a few paragraphs.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Georgia does not have a "legal separation." There are many effects of separating, and what you do can affect custody and property issues. It would be an excellent time to talk to a lawyer in advance of separating.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    I wouldn't say that there would be repercussions from separating. What will happen, though, is a pattern of how the children are cared for. For example, does one watch the kids while the other works? Does one have the children on a regular set pattern? These types of patterns are typical because you are trying to figure out what works in the event the two of you do separate.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    Yes, there could be legal ramifications, especially regarding how you two choose to split up time with the children. If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation-by phone or in person-about this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
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