If you and your spouse are thinking it is time for a separation, there are some factors you should consider in order to make sure this is not only the right step for your family but also done in accordance with the law. Before any decisions are made, it would be beneficial to consult with me to help you fully understand the legal consequences of your decision.
In the state of Massachusetts, there is no such status as a legal separation. However, if one spouse seeks support from another and does not want to file for divorce, he or she can file a Complaint For Separate Support. This would allow for child support and/or spousal support payments to be ordered. The process for filing for separate support can be a lengthy and complicated one. The method and burden of proving that the spouse should receive support is not always easy, and if a mistake is made, it could cost you and your family in the long run.
Before deciding that a separation of any kind is in order, both spouses should be confident that this is the right thing to do for the family. Some couples choose marital counseling in order to try everything possible to save the marriage.
If no resolution can be reached to remain together, the next step could be mediation in order to reach a legal and binding agreement for support. Mediation is often a preferred option as it typically is less adversarial than the traditional litigation process. If mediation is chosen, it is a good idea to seek legal representation to protect your interests and your rights.
If you have questions or would like to consider a separation with your spouse, please call my office to schedule a consultation.