Rogers, AR Separation Agreement Lawyer
When marital troubles become too much to handle for a couple, it may be necessary to consider options for the spouses to exit the marriage. In many cases, a married couple will choose to divorce if they cannot repair their marriage. However, another viable option for a married couple is to pursue a legal separation. If you and your spouse are considering a legal separation, contact an experienced Rogers separation agreement lawyer today.
At Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP, our family law lawyers understand how serious marital issues can not only affect a married couple but even their children. Our firm is dedicated to providing you with the legal representation you need when you are preparing to endure a legal separation. To schedule a confidential legal consultation to discuss your case, contact Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 439-9840, or contact us online.
How to File for Legal Separation
A legal separation is when a couple intends to remain married but determine that living separately from each other would be best. Filing for a legal separation may seem like a strange choice when spouses could simply choose to file for divorce. However, there are several reasons why some couples may choose to remain married. For example, if spouses share young children, they may choose to only separate for a number of financial and personal reasons.
When filing for a legal separation, spouses must first consider what type of marriage they have. Specifically, Arkansas has two types of marriages: covenant marriages and traditional marriages. Each type of marriage has different requirements for couples that are seeking a legal separation.
Legal Separation for Covenant Marriages
To have a valid covenant marriage, a couple must engage in marriage counseling prior to becoming married. Similarly, to separate in a covenant marriage, both spouses must again seek counseling to determine a number of issues, like whether the marriage may be salvaged. If the spouses both submit to counseling and decide to continue with the legal separation, there are still other requirements that must be met.
In addition to attending counseling, a legal separation also requires that at least one spouse is a resident of Arkansas before the spouses can file. Also, the couple must present one of the following legal grounds as evidence that a legal separation is needed:
- Either spouse was convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison
- Either spouse committed acts of physical, sexual, or possibly verbal abuse against the other spouse or any children they shared
- A spouse has become dependent on alcohol or drugs
- A spouse tried to commit suicide or continuously endangers their life
- Either spouse committed adultery
- Both spouses have lived apart from each other for at least two consecutive years
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other factors that may be considered to determine whether a couple is entitled to file for a legal separation.
Legal Separation for Traditional Marriages
The requirements to successfully file for a traditional marriage are less strict than the requirements for a covenant marriage. One requirement of a traditional marriage is the need to prove that you and a spouse have resided apart from each other for at least 18 months. To be considered as spouses that live separate and apart, spouses must reside in different homes and are not permitted to engage in sexual relations.
In some cases, it may be permitted for spouses to reside in the same household. However, the spouses must be able to prove that they reside in separate areas of the home. It is important to note that if the court determines that spouses have been cohabitating over the course of the 18-month period, the spouses will be unable to file for a legal separation.
When filing for a legal separation, either spouse can file, but both spouses must agree to sign the agreement. There are also other issues to consider when filing a legal separation agreement. For example, determining the rights of each parent regarding the custody of children is a major issue that should be addressed. Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP can help guide you through this process to ensure your separation agreement contains provisions that protect you and your spouse.
Contact a Trusted Rogers, AR Family Law Attorney for Your Legal Separation
If you require legal assistance to file for a legal separation, contact an experienced Rogers family law attorney today. The legal team at Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP possess decades of legal experience handling a wide range of family law issues, and we are here for you in your time of need. To schedule a confidential legal consultation to discuss your separation agreement, contact Gunn Kieklak Dennis, LLP at (479) 439-9840.