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Financial tips for legal separation

Depending on circumstances, it may be best for the couple to seek a legal separation. It is similar to a divorce because a legal separation defines obligations and rights when there is a split, but it does not terminate the marriage.

Once separated, couples can determine child custody and maintenance as well as how to divide assets. At this time, couples no longer accrue marital assets. The couple is still married, however, and may choose to remain so for reasons involving insurance coverage, military benefits, health care plans, tax issues, religious beliefs or some other reason unique to the circumstances. Some will be surprised to note that financial aspects of a legal separation are often no easier or less complicated than filing for divorce.

Organize your finances

Good credit will enable you to better secure loans for major purchases like a car or home, get lower interest rates on credit cards and open up other financial opportunities. Financial experts recommend several steps that will help you establish credit in your own name. These include:

Cancel all joint credit cards: Open new ones under your name, which can help avoid financial obligations or debts incurred by a spouse after a split. If your name is on a joint card, you are still legally responsible.

Get records of financial information: Get at least six months worth of bank statements and other financial accounts, credit cards and any outstanding debts. Access to these accounts may cease once the separation agreement is signed.

Family law attorneys are an asset in separations

Whether it is a separation that will lead to a divorce or a formal arrangement for moving forward, these issues are best addressed with guidance of a knowledgeable and skilled family law attorney. They can help provide the best possible protection of parental, personal and financial rights.

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