Montgomery County Separation Agreement Attorney
According to a recent study, about a quarter of Americans believe that divorce is not a morally acceptable way to end an unsatisfying marriage. But the ill effects of such relationships are impossible to overlook. So, people in these situations often turn to separation agreements. As outlined below, these agreements end marriages for practical purposes, but do not end them for legal purposes.
The diligent Montgomery County separation agreement attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand start working for you from the moment you reach out to us. If a legal separation is preferable to a divorce, based on your situation, we take appropriate action. We never try to sell you something you do not need. At the same time, we also carefully lay the groundwork for these proceedings. Frequently, if a spouse is blindsided with a proposed separation agreement, that spouse becomes angry and counterclaims for divorce. That move takes control of the situation out of your hands.
Most separation agreements include child custody and visitation provisions. As in a divorce, these matters must be in the best interests of the children. Usually, the best interests of the children mean consistent, frequent, and meaningful contact with both parents. To facilitate such contact, some parents look to alternative parenting time arrangements. Some examples include:
- Block Scheduling: Instead of the complex every other weekend/every other holiday arrangement, the children spend two weeks with Parent A, two weeks with Parent B, and the cycle repeats. Except a few tweaks around major holidays, this rotation stays in effect twelve months a year.
- Extended Weekends: Often, the cumulative effect of small changes makes a big difference. That’s true in this context. Beginning weekends on Thursday and ending them on Money results in a much more even division of parenting time.
Other best interest factors include the parents’ preferences, children’s special needs, the current informal timesharing arrangement, and the children’s preferences.
Separation agreements do not legally end marriages, but they do legally divide property and establish financial support obligations.
Pennsylvania is an equitable division state. A separation agreement must equitably, or fairly, divide marital property. That includes assets and debts. Some factors to consider include the standard of living during the marriage, custody of minor children, noneconomic contributions to the relationship, and each party’s future earning potential.
Many of these same factors control the amount of alimony payments. Essentially, judges must weigh the obligee’s economic need against the obligor’s ability to pay. These things are different from the obligee’s economic wants and the obligor’s willingness to pay.
Several different types of alimony are available. Short-term payments jumpstart spouses toward economic self-sufficiency. Long-term payments are more of an income redistribution tool.
Count on a Diligent Attorney
A separation agreement might be a legitimate alternative to a divorce. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Montgomery County, contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand. Convenient payment plans are available.