Virginia Beach Attorneys File Separation And Property Settlement Agreements
Have you moved out of the home you used to share with your spouse? Do you want to end your marriage? If you responded yes to these questions, the state of Virginia considers you to be legally separated. You do not need a Separation Agreement to further validate that fact.
The separation attorneys at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. who serve Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads and Suffolk, VA. can provide you with legal advice and guidance about the usefulness of drafting a Separation Agreement (also known as a Property Settlement Agreement). Generally speaking, a Separation Agreement is a legal contract that is drafted by a lawyer to designate provisions for spousal support, child support, custody, visitation, distribution of property, division of assets and separation of debts during the period of physical separation before a divorce is finalized.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to draft a Separation Agreement.
Document an in-home separation
If you are living in a residence apart from your soon-to-be ex with the intent to terminate the marriage after a mandatory six-month or one-year waiting period expires, you are separated. You do not need to have a signed legal Separation Agreement to be considered legally separated in the state of Virginia.
An exception to this general rule exists where couples cannot afford two separate residences. In that case, a so-called “in-home” separation may be established with the help of a separation lawyer. Judges have a tendency to disapprove of in-home separation, so it is necessary to accumulate evidence of physical separation, albeit in a shared residence.
Get a limited divorce
When your religious or personal beliefs prevent you from filing for an absolute divorce, you may seek a type of limited divorce known as divorce from bed and board. The grounds for this type of divorce include desertion, abandonment or cruelty. If a limited divorce is granted, neither spouse is allowed to remarry unless there is another legal proceeding to terminate the marriage entirely.
The Virginia Beach separation lawyers at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. can explain the risks and benefits of simply remaining separated rather than filing for a divorce from bed and board and how a Property Settlement Agreement can help to manage these risks.
Expedite your divorce
You may qualify for an expedited no-fault divorce if you meet all of the following legal requirements:
- You do not have children under the age of 18
- You live separate and apart from a spouse
- You intend for the separation to become permanent
- You are seeking a no-fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences
- You both voluntarily sign a written Separation Agreement
- You both want to complete your divorce within six months
Avoid allegations of desertion or abandonment
If you move out, your spouse may claim that you are a deserter who abandoned the marriage — giving rise to a divorce based on fault grounds. To avoid any appearance of desertion, it might be a good idea to talk to family law attorneys about drafting a Separation Agreement before you move out.
Bide your time wisely
A Separation Agreement can be useful to you if you need reassurance that you will retain continued access to custody, visitation, support or marital property after you become legally separated. Our separation lawyers can help you prepare carefully drafted contracts that spell out the legal rights and responsibilities of both spouses in a pre-divorce environment.
Experience. Knowledge. Skill.
The Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads and Suffolk, VA. divorce lawyers at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. proudly represent clients in a variety of family law and divorce-related matters. Please call 757-422-4700 or contact us to discuss your case with an attorney at the firm. Our attorneys look forward to preparing you for what lies ahead.