Couples who are experiencing trouble should not go straight to divorce.
Most couples who are considering divorce don't get one right away. Instead, it is worthwhile to try physical separation first. This is the arrangement when one of the feuding parties moves out of the house. It is one of the least expensive methods of avoiding further conflict. From a legal perspective, the couple still jointly owns all of their financial assets.
If you want to register your separation and make it more binding legally, it is possible to receive a court order for legal separation. Contracts for legal separation include the terms for deciding the usual issues like alimony, assets, debt and other child-related concerns.
Legal separation only stipulates that the couple no longer live together. The marriage will remain valid in the eyes of the law. In the absolute majority of cases, getting legally separated doesn't give you the right to marry someone else. For that, you'll need to get officially divorced.
Some states do not offer legal separation as an option. In the states where legal separation is possible, the state might urge the couple to separate before starting the divorce procedures. Other states urge couples to begin divorce proceedings once they are separated. Legal separations are only practical if both parties are willing to participate in a healthy dialogue.
Some separating spouses sometimes are anxious to move out of the family home. They fear that leaving the home might be viewed as resigning their legal rights to the property or other acquired assets during the marriage. There is little reason to worry because in the eyes of most judges, the partner who moves out still has every right to marital property. If the marriage had turned sour or dangerous, the decision to leave the house might be viewed in a good light.
When children are involved, the couples who do not wish to stay together should come up with an initial custody agreement that lays out the division of caretaking responsibilities before an official custody agreement is hashed out during a divorce. The decision to leave the house might be viewed unfavorably in the court if the person who left tries to argue that the other parent is an 'unfit parent'. If that was, in fact, true, the person who left is admitting his/her own incompetence for leaving the children in the care of an 'unfit parent'.
Often couples commit to separation agreements instead of divorcing for insurance reasons. Some couples prefer to keep their family plan for financial reasons or a lack of options for one partner. In some cases, this decision might lead to bad results.
After realizing that couples are using this practice to retain their insurance, corporations have introduced policies stipulating that a legal separation will make family health coverage void.
If you're considering a legal separation and are concerned about health insurance coverage, check the terms of your policy.