When most couples decide to end their marriage the matter is not immediately resolved. Usually there is a period of time before filing for divorce that the couple lives apart. During that time couples who know for sure that they do not want to stay together, may start to work through some of the issues that need to be addressed. Depending on the specifics of the situation, the couple could need to address the following:
- What will happen to the marital home
- Who will care fore the children
- How the marital property will be divided
- Whether support payments are necessary and if so, how much they will be
- Who will pay the family’s debts
There are multiple ways in which these matters can be addressed. In most situations, the best approach is for the couple to work together to create a separation agreement. While some couples do this on their own, others negotiate the matters with the assistance of a lawyer. In more contentious situations, the court will be asked to make the decisions.
Attention should be paid to the creation of this agreement. This is because once signed, it could impact the lives of those involved, for a long period of time. While it is possible to make changes to the agreement it is usually not easy to do and may necessitate seeking permission to make the change from a judge. For this reason, before signing it is vital that the information shared by one’s ex-spouse is accurate.
When people decide to end a relationship it is generally in an effort to move on to a better life. Accordingly, it is vital that they take the necessary steps to make sure they start that new chapter on the best possible footing. A family law lawyer can help to make that a reality.