If you and your spouse have decided to call it quits, it's time to work out the formal separation agreement. You might think that an informal agreement will work well, but that's not necessarily the truth. In fact, a separation agreement will help you avoid serious problems with your divorce. Before you go any further with your divorce, here are four reasons why you should talk to an attorney about a formal separation agreement.
Your Spouse Isn't Following the Informal Agreement
If you and your spouse had an informal agreement that isn't working out anymore, it's time for a more formal agreement. This is particularly important if your spouse isn't following the informal agreement that you decided on. It can be difficult to move forward with a divorce when your spouse refuses to abide with the agreement you entered into. Not only that, but if your spouse won't abide by the informal agreement before you're divorced, it might be difficult to get them to abide to it once the divorce is finalized. A formal agreement with give you the legal grounds to take your spouse to court for enforcement.
Your Separation has Become Volatile
If your separation was amicable when it started, but has since turned volatile, it's time to sit down with an attorney to discuss a formal separation agreement. One of the benefits of a formal separation agreement is that it will spell out what each of you are required to do during the separation. Not only that, but if your spouse refuses to abide by the agreement, or threatens your safety during the separation, your attorney can move to have an order of protection included with the formal separation agreement.
You're Not Sure How to Divide the Assets
If you own property, or have joint accounts that will need to be divided, it's better to have a formal separation agreement. A formal agreement can help alleviate questions and confusion about the division of assets. This is particularly important when it comes to joint bank accounts, retirement accounts, and credit cards.
Your Marital Bills Aren't Being Paid
If you and your spouse have debts that aren't being paid, because you're not sure who's responsible for them, you're going to need a formal separation agreement. The last thing you need is to have your bills go into collection while you're working through your divorce. Not only will your bills start stacking up, but you'll also leave your marriage with damaged credit. If your marital bills aren't being paid, you need to have the responsibility for those debts outlined in a formal separation agreement.