By: Amanda Vann, 301-563-6685
When you realize your marriage is no longer working, did you know that you have other options available to you other than divorce? Most spouses only think of divorce, which can bring on an onslaught of emotional and financial stress. Still, it would be best if you also discussed whether or not you could benefit from a legal separation with an attorney.
Divorce may not be the best option
The legality of getting married means you agree to enter into a contract that makes all property acquired, including your wages, real property, personal property, retirement, and investment accounts, joint marital property regardless of how the report or asset is titled. When your marriage is over, most people think that the only option is divorce.
In Maryland, one way to obtain a divorce is if the spouses reach an agreement that divides all marital assets and sets forth the financial responsibilities of each spouse. If the parties can’t reach an agreement, a judge will decide how their assets and financial obligations will be divided. Divorce is permanent and dissolves the marital contract, meaning the parties can no longer operate as one family unit.
Getting a divorce doesn’t always make the most sense for some families
A legal separation can be an alternative option to divorce because a legal separation will grant the same benefits of division of assets and responsibilities without the finality of a divorce. In a legal separation, the parties reach an amicable separation agreement that details the physical separation, custody, payment of expenses and gives parties the time to plan and prepare and not be bound by a court calendar of pre-scheduled hearing and musts. A legal separation is an excellent option for couples who may not yet be sure they want a divorce. Some couples need time to go through marriage counseling to work through their issues.
Other couples with children often prefer to still function as a family unit and not go through the formal process to keep the family intact. Some spouses or their children have severe medical conditions that make a legal separation a better financial solution than a divorce. And others don’t want a divorce for religious purposes. Regardless of the reasoning, a legal separation allows the parties to continue with their lives with a court order that clearly defines the role of each spouse moving forward and what their responsibilities are. Most importantly, legal separations tend to be less costly than a divorce and give the parties time to separate households and live separate and apart without financial hardships.
If you are unsure if legal separation or divorce is proper for you, please contact me at 301-563-6685 and set up a consultation where we can discuss the options, and you can make an informed decision of how best to move forward.
About Andalman & Flynn, P.C.: Founded in 1998 in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Andalman & Flynn has forged a distinguished reputation for legal excellence. The firm represents individuals seeking disability benefits throughout the country and practices family law throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. The firm focuses on cases that impact the rights of everyone and is there for clients when responsive legal help is most critical. The firm has provided legal analysis on national and local television and radio, and their attorneys often testify before legislative bodies and are routinely invited to contribute to prominent legal publications. For more information about Andalman & Flynn, please visit the website at andalmanflynn.com or call 301.563.6685