What is the difference between a separation and a divorce?
In Georgia, you can have what is called a legal separation, which just means you are not having marital relations. Being legally separated in Georgia does not mean that the marriage is over.
There is no legal requirement that the parties in a divorce must separate for a period of time to qualify for a divorce, or that parties who have opted for a legal separation file for a divorce. There is also no requirement in a legal separation that the parties live in separate places, although making up and engaging in marital relations will adversely affect the separate status. These can be completely unrelated issues.
It is important to consult with a divorce lawyer in the Lawrenceville and Norcross areas if you are going through a separation, so you can understand your rights and how the separation will affect you.
What happens in a separation?
Georgia does not allow a divorce until a couple has been legally separated for 30 days, but the separation can simply be the filing. The separation can look the same as the marriage to people on the outside. Just like with a divorce, there is a residency requirement. One party to the divorce must be a resident of Georgia for six months before filing for an official separation.
A divorce can be a lot like a divorce, in many significant ways. For instance, parties can agree or ask that a judge order child support while they are separated. Georgia is also a state which allows for alimony, or spousal support, and this can also be ordered during a legal separation.
What is a separation agreement, and is it binding?
When parties file a separation agreement, they don’t need to go to Court, but the agreement is just as binding as a regular divorce agreement. They don’t need to bring in a divorce attorney, but if they choose to represent themselves, they are held to the same standard as if they had.
The separation agreement includes the kinds of things a divorce decree does. This is where the child support order and alimony order will be. Because there are so many factors to consider when determining child support and alimony, the parties should at least seek the advice of a divorce attorney if they are going to file the petition themselves. Because the Separation Agreement is legally binding, the long-term effects can be serious.
What happens if there is no divorce filed?
Georgia law allows coupes to separate without divorcing. Many couples stay legally bound in marriage because of various reasons, some personal and some practical.
Some people don’t divorce because their religion forbids it. Some couples stay married for longer because one of them has insurance through an employer and the other does not, so they stay married so that everyone in the family can maintain health insurance coverage.