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Separation and divorce are two legal options available to married persons who are experiencing significant troubles, irreconcilable differences, or other problems in their marriage. There are different reasons a person or couple choose separation and divorce. Gathering some basic information about separation and divorce, speaking with trusted friends and family, consultation with a legal professional, and similar actions can be important first steps in determining what is best for you.

In terms of separation and divorce, each option has benefits and drawbacks worthy of consideration. Separation may be chosen when one or both spouses wish to have a trial period in which to experience some of the feelings and consequences of divorce without the finality of that decision. During a period of separation, a couple may be able to seek counseling and other support that can help them make a decision about their separation and divorce.

There are two types of separation that can be made: informal separation and formal legal separation. With an informal separation, arrangements are made between to two parties without the legal system involved. Through this agreement a couple will decide together how shared tangibles (house, car, etc) and other marital assets will be divided. An informal separation can only be successful if both parties can come to agreement on these major issues.

A formal legal separation can be more complicated, more expensive, and more permanent. In terms of separation and divorce, the money, time, and emotional investment is often the same for both. There are many reasons for going though a formal legal separation including: a state requirement that a couple go through separation before divorce, insurance and other marriage benefit needs, religious objections to divorce, and having time to settle a complicated separation and divorce process.

When formal separation is sought, a marital separation agreement will be written up dividing your marital assets, defining your rights, and resolving issues such as spousal support and child custody. A marital separation agreement can be sought through the legal system through separation and divorce. Specific state laws will often govern how marital assets and liabilities will be divided in contested separation and divorce situations. Some states will split assets and debts evenly between the two parties while others will base the division on a number of factors.

Divorce is an absolute decision made to end a marriage. The divorce process is most often handled, at least to some degree, through the legal system. In an uncontested divorce, partners are almost entirely free to separate assets and liabilities as they see fit and to determine other specifics of their dissolving marriage. When any separation or divorce terms are not agreed upon, the legal system will often intervene. In separation and divorce cases like these, individuals can greatly benefit from the help of a legal professional. To learn more about separation and divorce, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney in your area.


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Issues Regarding Child Custody

Child Custody Rights

Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.

Custody for Fathers

Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.

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