Couples in New Jersey who may be considering a divorce but are not quite ready to take that step often make the choice to obtain a legal separation. While most couples in these situations live apart, the simple act of maintaining two residences does not constitute a legal separation. Understanding what this really is and when and how it could be beneficial is important for any spouses who may wish to be apart from each other without divorcing at the time.
In essence, a legal separation offers couples a way to protect themselves financially and legally, according to an article in Forbes. It can delineate the division of a couple’s debts and assets and ensure that one spouse is no longer liable for any debt incurred by the other. This includes any debts not paid but stipulated to be the responsibility of one spouse. Child support, custody and alimony agreements can also be outlined via a separation agreement.
Many people obtain a legal separation as a preamble to an ultimate divorce. Still others remain legally separated for extended periods of time without divorcing. Some of the reasons for this may include the ability to retain healthcare coverage through one spouse’s employer or to file taxes jointly to reduce the tax burden on each spouse. It is important to note that these options may not always be available, however, so getting the facts up front is important.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about a legal separation in New Jersey.