Michael E. Eisenberg Attorney at Law
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Separation: a better choice than divorce for your family?

When a marriage is over, it can cause conflict and stress for everyone in the family, including the children. Pennsylvania couples facing the prospect of divorce may wish to move through this process slowly, making smart and practical decisions. If divorce is not an immediate option or you are unsure if you want to move forward with it, you may consider the option for legal separation. 

Legal separation is a way for you to have formal custody and support orders without actually finalizing your divorce. This can allow both parties the time needed to carefully consider the terms of a future divorce or simply live separately if divorce is not an option. Before you make any important decisions that will affect the future of your family, you may find it helpful to learn more about the legal separation process.

Why consider separation?

Divorce is a major life event, and there are many reasons why a couple would want to wait or refrain from taking that step. A legal separation agreement outlines the rights of each party, as well as financial obligations, such as child support and spousal support. A couple may think about separating rather than divorcing for financial reasons, religious reasons or personal reasons.

One party moving out of the home is not a legal separation. In order to clearly define your rights and obligations, you will need a formal order drafted. Like divorce agreements, it is possible to craft these with the goal of protecting the interests of every member of the family while addressing specific needs. Some of the factors you may need to consider in your divorce include the following:

  • Child custody and visitation schedules
  • The division of marital property
  • Spousal maintenance, which is like spousal support for the separation period 

It is beneficial to thoughtfully consider everything you include in this agreement. If you decide to move forward with divorce, your separation agreement can be the foundation for a positive and sustainable divorce agreement.

Protecting your interests starts now

As with any type of legal agreement, it is prudent to avoiding signing anything without careful review and consideration of how it will affect your life. When legally separating, you have to address all major factors related to your children and financial responsibilities, and you may find it helpful to seek experienced guidance as you work through this process. Before you agree to anything, you may seek an explanation of your rights and options.

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