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When a couple agrees to live apart and apart without formally ending their marriage through divorce, this is known as a legal separation. Although Georgia law does not recognize "legal separation," it does allow couples to pursue separate maintenance as a divorce option. Separate maintenance is similar to ordinary divorce in that it will enable the team (or the judge) to address matters such as child custody, child support, and alimony. The spouses live separate lifestyles but are legally married until one or both spouses obtain a formal divorce from the court after the separate maintenance process.

Filling for a Legal Separation


You merely have to suspend "marital relations" to divorce under Georgia law. While living in the same residence, parties can be legally separated. There is no requirement for a written or verbal "separation agreement"; however, an agreed or verifiable date is preferable. You are legally separated if either spouse moves out or into another bedroom to file for divorce in Georgia.

Benefits of Legal Separation


The most apparent advantage of legal separation is that it allows a couple to work out personal or financial difficulties interfering with their marriage. The court usually decides on spousal support (alimony/maintenance), child custody, child visitation, and property distribution. Each state is unique, and some states, for example, may not allow property division during a legal separation. Another significant advantage of legal separation is that each spouse can continue to benefit from the other's insurance and pension benefits. Another reason to choose legal separation over divorce could be this.

Disadvantages of Legal Separation


The following are some of the drawbacks of legal separation in Georgia:

Child Custody


Physical and legal custody are the two types of custody recognized in Georgia. The child lives with a parent who has physical custody, and both parents can share physical custody (known as "joint custody") or solely by one parent. When parents have joint custody in Georgia, they spend nearly equal time with their children. One parent, for example, may have four overnights each week while the other has three.:

A parent who has legal custody of their kid has the authority to make crucial medical, legal, educational, and religious decisions on their behalf. A judge will grant both parents joint legal custody of their children in many circumstances. In Georgia, joint legal custody means that both parents are involved in all critical decisions concerning their children. In most cases, one parent will be identified as the "primary custodial parent" if the parents share legal and physical custody. When the parents cannot agree on a decision concerning the child, this parent has the last say. In most cases, the parent who spends the most time with the kid is the "custodial parent," while the other parent is referred to as the "noncustodial parent."

There are some critical distinctions between legal separation and divorce.


It's not simple to call it quits on a marriage. A legal separation, unlike a divorce, is a court decree that specifies the rights and responsibilities of the couple while they are still married but living apart. Both agreements financially separate the marriage and give legal monitoring for child custody, maintenance, and debt management. A divorce, on the other hand, ultimately ends a relationship.

If you and your husband are having significant troubles, a divorce may seem like the only way to separate and preserve your finances. On the other hand, a legal separation may provide the same level of protection as a divorce and, in some situations, may be preferable.

You must first be legally "separated" in Georgia before filing for divorce. However, this does not imply that you or your spouse must leave the marital home.

Separation Agreement


Anything that gets to the court will automatically need funding. This does not exclude separation, as legal counsel fees and court fees must be met. The minimum cost for filing for legal separation requires a minimum of $176. The respondent is also required to deposit some amount to the court. Legal fees will also affect the cost, while the experience of the council determines how much they charge per hour.

How long does legal separation take in Indiana?


In Georgia, legal separation, also known as separation agreements, requires both spouses to work together to resolve all of the same issues that would be addressed in a divorce, such as a child custody, visitation arrangements, whether either spouse will pay child support (and how much), and whether spousal support is required. A separation agreement should also spell out how both spouses will distribute bank accounts, marital property, vehicles, and anything else that will influence the family in the event of a divorce.

Do You Need An Attorney To File Legal Separation?


Georgia divorce rules are complicated. Therefore, it's always a good idea to employ a lawyer. While hiring a lawyer for a formal separation, divorce, or annulment is not required, it is strongly advised in all three cases. Hiring a lawyer is essential if you want the best possible outcome for your case. Without the assistance of a lawyer, you must complete and file the necessary documents, appear in front of a judge on your behalf, and interact with the opposing party's attorney. Furthermore, because most people are unfamiliar with Georgia family law, unrepresented parties may overlook the rights to which they are entitled.

How long Does It Take In Georgia?


It is possible for partners to be separated at any time, and they must set and agree on a date for their separation and refrain from having sexual relations from that point forward. It can be the first day of the month if spouses can't recall when they decided to legal separation, the day someone moves to a new bedroom, or any day following a major dispute — what counts is that both parties can easily verify this date.

Cost for Legal Separation


Legal separation costs an average of $4,100 if you and your spouse agree on all matters. The average cost of a legal separation with contested issues is $20,400. Legal separation fees skyrocket when parents fight over the custody of their children. The cost of legal separation is the same as the cost of divorce.

You'll have to pay for the following:

The amount of legal separation fees you'll have to pay is determined by how contested the divorce is.

Trial Separation


Divorce and legal separation are complicated legal processes that alter your marital status. If you're not ready for either route, try a trial separation in which you and your spouse live apart for some time to reassess your marriage before seeking legal help. Following the separation, the couple may be subjected to verbal separation in various situations.

If they can't afford to live in separate dwellings, some couples stay in the family home, but in separate bedrooms and without cohabitation (sexual relations). At the end of the trial separation, the couple can reconnect, try a final separation, or file for divorce.

Preparation of separation agreement


Under Georgia law, you essentially have to cease "marital relations" to divorce. While staying in the same residence, parties can be legally separated. There is no necessity for a written or verbal "separation agreement"; however, an agreed or verifiable date is preferable.

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