When a marriage is not working out, a couple might seek a legal separation or divorce. A Ballwin separation agreements lawyer could help you and your spouse negotiate the matters you must conclude before a court grants a legal separation or divorce.
Whether you seek a legal separation or a divorce, a skilled attorney from our firm could formalize your decisions into a separation agreement that the court will adopt and issue as an enforceable order. Contact Jones Family Law Group, LLC today to discuss your situation with a committed legal advocate.
Negotiated Agreements Lead to Better Results
A legal separation or divorce requires you and your spouse to divide your marital property, arrange spousal support, and develop a parenting plan if you have minor children. Couples who cannot agree on the aspects of their divorce often turn to the courts to adjust their status. Sometimes, one party is focused on “winning” or making the other party “pay.” While these feelings are understandable, they do not make the divorce or separation process any easier for you or your children
In this situation, many couples find using a mediator is helpful. If not, your legal representatives could negotiate on your behalf. Negotiated settlements usually lead to separation agreements that are more fair, effective, and workable than one a judge would order in court.
Ideally, you and your spouse will have agreed on property division, alimony, and issues relating to the children when the petitioner files for separation or divorce. Your skilled Ballwin attorney could draft the documents formalizing your separation agreements, or review them if you worked with a mediator, and submit them to the court for approval. If the court finds your property arrangements to be fair and your parenting plan supports your children’s best interests, the judge will issue a final order of legal separation or divorce decree approving the parenting plan.
Untangling Your Financial Lives
When a married couple adjusts their status, they must separate their non-marital property from their marital property. Non-marital property is anything a spouse owned before marriage, debts a spouse owed before marriage that are outstanding, and any inheritances or gifts a spouse received during the marriage. Marital property is everything either spouse acquired during the marriage, regardless of who bought it or whose name it is in. Debts assumed by either spouse during the marriage are deemed marital debts.
The couple must value their marital property and divide it between them. Missouri requires property division to be fair, but not necessarily equal. Couples are free to make a separation agreement that suits their unique circumstances. Courts will almost always sign off on property division proposals the couple agrees to unless it is clearly unfair. Similarly, you may decide whether one spouse will receive financial support for a period or waive spousal support.
Addressing Your Children’s Needs
Missouri Revised Statute §452.310 requires parents to develop a parenting plan for their children. It must describe in detail how you will co-parent, including where the children will live, how much time they will spend with your spouse, how you and your spouse will share decision-making, and other critical issues. The court will review the plan to ensure it supports the children’s best interests.
Your parenting plan also must address child support. Child support cannot be waived, even if the parent who has the children most of the time does not need the money.
Learn More From a Ballwin Separation Agreements Attorney
If you and your spouse are not ready to divorce, or if divorce is not an option for you, a legal separation could serve your needs. However, even if you do not intend to divorce, you must divide your property, decide on spousal support, and make arrangements to co-parent and financially support your children.
A diligent Ballwin separation agreements lawyer from our firm could help you negotiate and formalize the documents you need to secure a legal separation. Call Jones Family Law Group, LLC today to discuss your situation with a compassionate attorney.