Times have changed today, and many couples often find that their marital relationship is not going anywhere. It could be the case when spouses find themselves drifting apart over a period, or one spouse has been abusive or unfaithful. Whatever the case is, couples often take the decision to get separated and file a divorce – to be able to move onto the next chapter of their lives. Establishing the date of VA separation agreement is one of the first steps in the process of divorce. Find out why it is so important and how to ensure that it is properly done.
No basis for fault
Establishment of the date of separation might be crucial for divorce cases for many reasons. First and foremost, if there is no basis of fault of any spouse or a complaint such as constructive desertion, desertion, cruelty, adultery etc then the date of separation will determine when divorce can be filed.
In the state of Virginia, spouses need to wait for a year to file a divorce in case they have kids and / or if a marital settlement agreement is absent. But it can be filed only after 6 months in case of no kids and when there is a marital settlement agreement present. In Fairfax County and a few other jurisdictions, irrespective of the presence of or absence of fault grounds, an equitable distribution in divorce trial will not be scheduled until beyond the statutory period.
Effect on assets
The Separation date also has an effect on the retirement accounts, financial accounts and other assets of Hybrid, Separate or Marital nature. Generally, however, with a few exceptions assets and belongings that were purchased after separation with post separation money, debt accrued and income earned would be categorized as separate property. Often, a payer party would be given credit by the court for payments regarding post separation spousal support. This can reduce the post-divorce period for these types of payments.
The faster you can establish a separation date while going for a legal separation in Virginia process, the quicker you will able to turn the page of your life and put a lid over the different issues that resulted from your unsuccessful marriage. A separation agreement that is mutually formed between spouses does not have similar impact as a legal separation or divorce ordered by the court. That being said, it is a formal agreement nonetheless and binding on both spouses. It lets couples take care of all the vital issues that might arise during the period of their separation, such as:
- The well-being of their children
- Who will pay for alimony and child support
- How assets would be managed
- Whether the rights on joint insurance plans, health policies etc would still be enjoyed
- Whether any property would be sold or divided during the period of separation and so on.
What is a Defensible Legal Separation Date?
A separation agreement signed on a certain date by both parties states unequivocally they separated on that date with no desire to reconcile. There can be various considerations, and some of these might appear to be trivial. Anyway, it can be vital to establish a separation date, as it can have a huge effect on the timing of divorce, the duration of spousal support, property division etc.