An action for separate maintenance is not the same as a divorce. The court issues an order of support specifying the rights and obligations of each spouse while living separately. You cannot marry someone else even if you have filed for a separate maintenance action. That’s because your marriage is not completely dissolved. A contempt of court charge may be issued if the separate maintenance order is violated.
Contact Attorney Sharon Jackson today at (678) 890-4200 for help with your Georgia separate maintenance agreement.
The concept of legal separation is not accepted under Georgia law. Georgia couples preferring to remain married but wanting to live apart can, however, file for a legal action called separate maintenance.
A separate maintenance action is ideal for spouses who want to live apart but do not want to get divorced. It is for those who want to provide for financial support, agree on a parenting plan, and divide their assets and debts.
A separate maintenance action, though, is not recommended in a number of instances. First, you will still remain legally married even after you’ve gone through the process of separate maintenance. Marrying someone else results in additional expenses as you must go through and complete the divorce process for your existing marriage.
A new marriage can be ended quickly by the other spouse filing an opposing claim of divorce in the matter of your current, still legal marriage. And you must consider sanctions from the court.
There are certain situations, however, where a separate maintenance action is altogether appropriate. Our highly skilled family law attorney Sharon Jackson can assist you through the entire process.
A separate maintenance order does not terminate a marriage. It is generally meant for spouses who do not want or cannot get a divorce but want to live separately.
A Georgia separate maintenance action may be filed by either spouse. It is similar to a divorce action in that it ends in the settlement of all issues that need to be resolved in case of a divorce. Separate maintenance is different from divorce, however, in that there is no complete dissolution of marriage even though the couple is separated.
Either spouse may file a separate maintenance action and request the court determine alimony or child support. The couple can technically still live under one roof while awaiting the court’s decision. The separate maintenance action will be delivered to the other spouse in compliance with Georgia law. Once a decision has been made, the parties can be awarded a separate maintenance order which is as enforceable as a divorce decree.
Couples often have different valid reasons for filing for separate maintenance instead of a divorce. The most common reasons include:
No matter the situation, the couple must try to find a resolution as to how they will provide for themselves while living separate from each other.
An important difference between divorce and separate maintenance is that no matter how estranged the spouses may be or how long they may have been living apart under such an agreement, they still remain legally married. Under this agreement, neither of the parties can get married to someone else, and laws applicable to spouses involving taxation, inheritance, and other matters will still be enforced.
One spouse will not be responsible for the action of the other spouse while the separate maintenance order is in place, although proper arrangements should be made regarding financial matters. For instance, if a legally separated spouse fails to take their name out from bank accounts, promissory notes, credit cards, or other financial instruments, that spouse may be liable for any debts incurred by the other spouse, even if they are legally separated.
Experienced family lawyer Sharon Jackson can assist you with separate maintenance. We’ll help you understand what to expect, handle the filing requirements, suggest a fair and acceptable agreement, and ensure that your rights are respected in any contested proceedings.
Sharon Jackson is highly experienced and has a deep understanding in this area of Georgia family law and we’ll be happy to help you work out what’s in the best interest of your family. Always assure your children that they are loved and that all their needs will be provided for in spite of any or all obstacles that may come.
Our firm serves clients not only in Gwinnett County, but also in other counties including Barrow County, Walton County, and Hall County. Call us at our Lawrenceville office today at (678) 909-4100 to speak to an experienced separate maintenance attorney, or contact us through our website to schedule an initial consultation.