A separation agreement spells out the terms agreed on by the separated couple for handling important matters, such as property division, child custody and child support, while living apart. When filed in family law court, a separation agreement can be enforced with the court's contempt power if not obeyed. Getting a legal separation doesn't change the fact that the couple remains married under the eyes of the law.
However, if the couple later decides to divorce, a divorce court will often incorporate the terms of the separation agreement into the final divorce decree.
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The divorce law in your state, which varies by state, defines what is required for getting a legal separation. Often, separated couples use Separation Agreements to dictate which partner is responsible for what and who will be the primary caretaker of the children, if any. Divorce is when a married couple has received a divorce judgment.
They are no longer married and are not considered to be a husband or a wife to their ex-partner. Couples who are preparing to file for a divorce often use a Separation Agreement when they have already agreed upon how to divide their marital property and the custody of any children. Whether or not you and your spouse are considered to be separated depends on your situation and jurisdiction.
Living separate and apart does not necessarily mean that each spouse has to live at a different residence. Often, a couple will continue living in the same home due to financial reasons or for children, although they consider themselves to be separated. Typically, once a husband or wife decide to separate from their spouse, they would need to divide their marital property.
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This includes division of the matrimonial home, all assets, debts, property, and other financial family responsibilities. Your Separation Agreement will only be considered in court if it is fair to both parties, so ensure that you divide all assets and debts in a way that leaves neither spouse unjustly better off than the other. Spousal Support: Spousal support, or alimony, may be included in a Separation Agreement. It is usually paid from one spouse to another to assist in maintaining an accustomed financial lifestyle.
The length and amount of alimony depends on:. If you can come to an agreement regarding the amount and length of spousal support payments, and it is fair and reasonable to both parties, then it's likely the same alimony arrangements will be incorporated in your divorce judgment. Child Support: Child support can be negotiated and included in your Separation Agreement. It must be reasonable and fair to each parent and their financial circumstances. If you can agree upon an amount, the payment dates, and the length of payments, you may include it on your Separation Agreement for consideration.
However, the courts will have the discretion to decide what is in the best interest of the child. Personalize your Separation Agreement template. Print or download in minutes. All Rights Reserved. We provide information and software, and you are responsible for appropriately using this material.
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Yes, the grounds for which are the conviction of either party of a felony, impotence, or incurable insanity for a period of at least two years. However, Indiana is a no-fault state, meaning the court will also grant the parties a divorce on the grounds that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, i. The court will make an award of maintenance from one spouse to the other in three circumstances. The first is if the court finds a spouse to be physically or mentally incapacitated to the extent that the ability of that spouse to support himself or herself is materially affected.
Finally, if a spouse has had an interruption in their education, training, or employment as a result of homemaking or child care responsibilities, the court may find that rehabilitative maintenance for that spouse is necessary in an amount and for a period of time that the court considers appropriate, but not to exceed three years from the date of the final decree. A woman who desires the restoration of her maiden or previous married name must set out the name she desires to be restored to her in her petition for dissolution as part of the relief sought.
The court shall grant the name change upon entering the decree of dissolution. An annulment may be granted upon a showing by a party of one of the following grounds: one spouse is under age or was mentally incompetent to consent; the marriage was obtained by fraud; one spouse is of unsound mind; or one spouse was married in another state with the intent to evade the marriage laws of Indiana.
At the time of filing a petition for dissolution, at least one party must have been a resident of Indiana or stationed at a U. After expiration of the waiting period, the parties may proceed to a final hearing to resolve their dissolution.
Sample Form: Property Settlement Agreement
You do not necessarily have to go to court. If you cannot resolve all of the issues in this way, you can usually settle most of them. The remaining issues would then be litigated in court. If you cannot find your spouse and you have made reasonable efforts to do so, you can ask the court to notify your spouse of the divorce by putting a notice in the local newspaper. After this is done, you can finalize the divorce even if there is no proof that your spouse saw the notice. A person may not remarry until a Decree of Divorce is issued. When and if you start dating is a personal decision, but consideration should be made to the best interests of your children.
You can get a divorce even if your spouse does not want it.
Living Separated but Married Under the Same Roof
Once the court issues a Decree of Divorce, you are considered divorced. You are not required to remain in the state while your dissolution is pending. If you have children in the state, you may be prevented from relocating during the pendency of your dissolution.
If you do move, you will still be expected to return to Indiana to attend any mandatory hearings in court. If you are on active duty and are unable to return to Indiana for your court appearances, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows you to ask the court to delay proceedings while you are unavailable due to military service. This depends on the issues relevant to each individual case, but your initial pleadings will generally include a Petition for Dissolution and Summons, to be followed by a Financial Declaration and a Child Support Obligation Worksheet if you have children.
In order to protect your interests, you should consult an attorney to assist in the preparation of these and any other necessary forms.
A divorce complaint or Petition for Dissolution is filed in the county of your residence for at least three months in the state in which you have lived for at least six months. You spouse may be served by certified or registered mail, personal service by the sheriff, or private service.
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