Couples may decide not to divorce for a variety of reasons. In Georgia, an alternative to divorce is separate maintenance (also referred to as legal separation). A separate maintenance action can address a number of issues such as: custody/visitation, which party will pay for each debt of the parties while separated, and financial maintenance for a party and/or children of the parties while in a state of separation.
The parties should keep in mind that any legal determination or agreement in regards to a legal separation may have an effect on a divorce, if one should later occur. A separation agreement between the parties could also be later utilized, if necessary, to streamline a divorce action and save the parties additional fees and expenses.
The parties cannot remarry while in a state of legal separation and will not be granted a Final Decree of Divorce unless or until they divorce. A legal separation should be taken very seriously. Any agreement should be worded in such a way as to fully address all relevant issues allowable by Georgia law.
Post written by: Tiffany R. Lunn Esq.