Legal Separations

Legal Separations in Alabama

Dothan lawyers drafting legal separation agreements

Sometimes we hear from married couples that want to separate, but not divorce.  They feel if they separate, they can then determine if they really want a divorce or if they want to stay together.  They indicate they just need some breathing room and time to think.  They often call wanting to obtain a “legal separation”.  This is a term more commonly used around the country, but not so common in Alabama.  Other jurisdictions require married couple to be “legally separated” from one another for a certain period of time before obtaining a divorce.  Such is not required in Alabama.

Even though Alabama doesn’t recognize “legal separations”, our divorce attorneys know how to structure binding agreements to accomplish the same purpose.  As long as both parties agree, a “Legal Separation Agreement” can be drafted in which each party agrees to a distribution of property, child custody and visitation, and any other matter that would be dealt with in a divorce Order.  Even with such an agreement, the couple is still married.  The danger with such an agreement is when the parties believe it has morphed into a divorce without any Court action.  If one of the parties then remarries, they could be accused of bigamy.

These agreements provide that the legal separation can be ended at any time upon agreement of both parties.  The legal separation agreement will also provide that the contract is void upon one party filing a divorce complaint.

If you don’t yet want a divorce, you may want to consider a legal separation agreement.  If so, let the Dothan divorce attorneys at Parkman White, LLP assist you in negotiating your legal separation.  Contact us today at 334-792-1900.