Marriages don’t always last. Fortunately, states like Wisconsin give you multiple options for getting on with your life. Here’s how talking to an attorney about creating a legal marriage separation agreement might help you move forward.
Wisconsin Legal Marriage Separation Basics
It’s a myth that all failed marriages end in divorce. Legal separation may let you put a halt to your marital troubles without formally severing your ties.
Separation allows you and your spouse to live separately and retain many of the advantages that you currently enjoy. For instance, you can still share health insurance or benefit policies. Some people separate to adhere to religious beliefs that prohibit divorce. If your circumstances change, courts can also convert separations into divorces.
When you pursue a separation, the rules governing divorce still apply. How is this unique? To obtain a divorce, either spouse can testify that the marriage is broken beyond recovery. These mechanisms differ from annulments that involve courts invalidating marriages retroactively. It can be hard to know which option is best, so it’s always wise to talk to an attorney.
What’s in a Wisconsin Legal Marriage Separation Agreement?
To separate, you and your spouse must come up with a legal marriage separation agreement. This is a contract that you both sign to indicate that you agree to its terms. Your Wisconsin legal marriage separation agreement may cover issues such as:
- How you will split property,
- Who will pay child support,
- Shared parenting responsibilities and visitation rights, and
- What happens to your current shared debts.
Remember that all separation agreements must be legally valid and pass court inspection. For example, imagine that you and your spouse part ways on good terms and create a separation document. If your proposal is legally unenforceable or endangers your children, the judge might decide not to grant it. Having an attorney guide you through the process will increase your chances of filing successfully.
Coming to Terms With Your Spouse
One critical sticking point is that you and your spouse have to work together to separate. In other words, it’s vital that you’re united about what the legal marriage separation agreement should include.
Although it’s possible to draft your own agreement, many people work with professional advisers. In addition to helping you create a legally sound petition, lawyers may be able to offer mediation assistance. Mediation involves a third party acting as a go-between to keep the separation negotiations civil. Retaining representation also ensures that someone is looking out for your rights and best interests.
Is a Marriage Separation Agreement Right for You?
There is another important reason why people seek marriage separations. Although Wisconsin allows no-fault divorces, going to court isn’t always a positive experience. Your spouse may disagree with your point of view and delay the process for reasons that they feel are valid. You’re also placing your future in the hands of the court, which may not offer favorable resolutions.
Pursuing legal separation can be a good way to take charge and avoid bad blood. It lets you come to terms on your own instead of waiting for the court to define the ground rules. When both parties take active roles, they may be more likely to feel happy with the results. Keeping disputes out of the courtroom can even minimize how much time and money you spend on legal proceedings.
Discover how to take the initiative with a Wisconsin legal marriage separation agreement. Plot a course for your future by talking to an attorney at The Fitzgerald Law Firm.