Law

Key pointers about legal separation in Alabama

Your marriage is on the rocks, and you are now wondering whether divorce is the right option for you. Alabama laws allow for both fault and no-fault divorces, and if you and your spouse agree on most things, yours would be an uncontested divorce. What if you don’t want a divorce in the first place? There is also a second option of legal separation. Talk to the lawyers of The Harris Firm to understand whether you could benefit from the same or should consider a divorce. In this post, we are discussing key pointers about legal separation in Alabama.

Why do some couples choose legal separation over divorce?

The answer depends on the circumstances. If there is a small possibility that the couple may reconcile in the future, getting legal separated is always a better idea. In some cases, people avoid divorce because of the stigma attached to it, while for some couples, a legal separation is the best alternative to a divorce to personal and religious beliefs. If you and your spouse are no longer together but intend to get medical insurance and other benefits, you may consider legal separation an option.

What does legal separation mean?

You can only get legally separated in Alabama by a court order. Either you or your spouse can request a legal separation. There are residency requirements to be met, and the spouse seeking legal separation must state why they want to stay away or live apart. This could be something as simple as incompatibility. Also, a legal separation is not the same as a divorce, and therefore, the spouses cannot remarry. The couple must also present a separation agreement that settles all important concerns, especially if the spouses want a legal separation without a trial. In the absence of the document, the court will order a trial. In other words, you must prove to the court that you and your spouse have decided on aspects like child custody, child support, and alimony.

Other things to know

Assets that you acquire after legal separation are typically not considered for the division if you decide to file for divorce later. However, you are still legally married to your spouse, and there are aspects that can come into play. Talk to an experienced lawyer in Alabama to understand how legal separation is different from a divorce, and before you take the plunge, consider all the pros and cons of your decision.  

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