Separation and Divorce: 4 things you need to know.
Many couples contemplating divorce opt for separation; some happily married couples live separated. Understandably, the different meanings associated with “separated” can confuse people. However, distinguishing between the four different types of separation can have important affects on property ownership. If you have been separated and are considering a divorce, your divorce attorney Utah will need to know which category your separation fits into. The different types of separation are:
Trial separation. Often couples undergo a trial separation as a test period when deciding whether or not to separate permanently. Whether or not the spouses get back together, the assets and debt they accumulate during the trial period are usually considered marital property. This type of separation is not recognized in the court as a discontinuation of the relationship, but instead a specific period in a linear relationship.
Living apart. Multiple situations and necessities can end in spouses living apart. Some states consider living apart (without intending to reunite) a legally significant period in the relationship and such a situation can change property rights. For example, some states will consider all debt and assets acquired during the separation period the property of the party who incurred it. Some states do not differentiate, and some states leave it up to the discretion of the judge. Your Utah lawyer can best serve you if he or she is able to know the specifics about the intent behind your separation.
Permanent separation. When a couple decides to permanently terminate the marriage, and separates under that assumption, it is often called a permanent separation. It may follow a trial separation, or may begin immediately when the couple no longer is living together. In Utah, they case may be that all assets received and most debts incurred after a permanent separation are separate property and responsibility of the person who incurs them. However, if the debts are related to children, or marital home, they are likely to be considered marital property. A permanent separation can be argued by your Utah lawyer; however, some courts do not recognize it as so until a legal separation has been filed for.
Legal Separation. A legal separation results when the parties separate and a court rules on the division of property, alimony, child support, custody and visitation. This can occur in the absence of a divorce. It isn’t very common, but in situations were a couple would like to separate but one spouse is dependent on the other for income, a judge can require a certain amount of funds be allocated for the spouse earning less income. This is also common when a couple would like to avoid a divorce for financial, religious or personal reasons but needs the court to mandate stipulations normally covered by divorce. The money awarded during this period generally sets the tone for what will likely be awarded in the case of divorce.
While a skilled attorney Utah can use whatever information you provide to fight for the best outcome for you, it will help if you save communications between you and your partner to document intent. As you can see from the definitions of separation, intent is half the battle! If you are considering separating, it may benefit you to meet with a Utah lawyer to discuss how to be proactive in protecting your interests in the even your separation leads to a divorce. Consulting with an attorney Utah is often quick, it can be done over the phone or through email. Visit our website, www.shumwayvan.com, or call 801-216-8885 to gain some information that related to your specific situation.