5 Mistakes To Avoid During Your Separation
Filing for legal separation from your partner can be emotionally overwhelming. There are so many things to consider and handle. For that reason, many people make mistakes during their separation that can be detrimental.
Knowing what mistakes other people make can help you avoid making the same errors in judgment during a legal separation. However, each situation is unique.
Working with an experienced Los Angeles legal separation lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes. Your lawyer guides you through the process of legal separation and advises you about the steps to take to protect your best interests.
Five Common Mistakes To Avoid During Your Legal Separation in Los Angeles
Mistakes people make during separation include:
Signing a Separation Agreement Without a Lawyer
Your spouse might hire an attorney to draft a legal separation agreement. They might tell you that hiring a lawyer is unnecessary and would be a waste of money since they had an attorney draft the agreement.
Do not sign a legal separation agreement without consulting a Los Angeles legal separation attorney. By signing the agreement, you could give up some of your legal rights during the divorce.
Failing To Consider Your Future
During a separation, focusing on your immediate needs and short-term goals is natural. However, failing to consider the long-term consequences of the terms of your legal separation agreement can cause problems in the future. It is wise to consider where you want to be in five, ten, and 20 years and how the separation impacts your plans.
If you are nearing retirement age, these considerations are vitally important. You want to ensure you have the resources and income to support yourself during retirement.
Not Considering the Impact on Your Children
A separation is not a divorce. However, for your children, the separation feels like a divorce. Their parents no longer live together, and they must split their time between two homes.
Help your children maintain a close relationship with their other parent. Work with your spouse to develop a parenting plan in your children’s best interests. If necessary, seek counseling and therapy for your children to help them deal with their emotions.
Making Changes in Your Financial Situation
You should never assume you will receive a specific amount for child support, alimony, or property division until a final agreement is in place. In reality, until the court issues a final judgment, the terms of your divorce settlement could change.
It is not wise to make financial commitments before and during a separation without considering your future. If you receive less money for support, can you afford the expensive car you purchased before or during your separation? Base your decision on your current income, not the income you hope to have when the separation and divorce details are finalized.
Not Making Your Legal Separation Agreement Binding in Court
It could be tempting to write an agreement and not go through the process of going to court to obtain an order of legal separation. You and your spouse agree, so it is easier to put the agreement in writing and sign it. However, is that agreement enforceable in court?
Unless the legal separation document is filed with the court, you might be unable to enforce the terms if your spouse decides they no longer want to follow the agreement. However, if you file the agreement and obtain a court order, you can pursue legal recourse to enforce the separation agreement if they fail to keep their promises.
Why Would a Couple Want To Legally Separate Instead of Getting a Divorce in Los Angeles?
If a couple wants to live separately and apart, why would they not get divorced? There are many reasons why couples choose legal separation over divorce in Los Angeles. Some reasons and benefits for legal separation include:
- A spouse needs to maintain health insurance through their spouse’s employer
- Religious and moral beliefs
- The spouses want to remain married for retirement benefits
- Parties might want to work on their marriage through counseling and therapy
- Staying married because of their children
- A spouse needs to remain married for their immigration status
- It makes financial sense to remain married instead of divorce, such as filing joint tax returns
As with divorce, a legal separation can impact many areas of your life. Before agreeing to a legal separation, you should consider both short-term and long-term consequences. An attorney can help you identify how a legal separation will impact your life and prioritize the issues that you need to focus on the most while negotiating your separation agreement.
Contact a Beverly Hills Family Law Lawyer Today
If you’re going through a divorce, you need a strong team on your side fighting for your rights. Call Berenji & Associates today to know how we can assist you.