When is Separation the Best Option?

When is Separation the Best Option?

Separation is never a process that couples should rush into. It needs to be something that they spend time carefully thinking about. Separation is not always the best option for struggling marriages. But sometimes, there is nothing else that can be done. Separation can provide couples with a much needed break to evaluate the marriage. There are three main reasons why separation might be the best option.

Abusive Spouse

The first scenario where separation might make sense is in an abusive situation. When one spouse begins to seriously threaten the safety of the home, it is time to make a break. The spouse who is the victim has a responsibility to themselves and anyone else in danger to separate and get away from the abusive spouse. Some might try to wait out the danger and hope that it will end. But this is never the right course of action. Most likely, the abusive spouse will continue down that path, and staying will only make it worse for everyone. By getting away from the situation, you are protecting yourself and your children from being placed in harm’s way and allowing for the proper authorities to bring help.

Continuing Bad Habits

Another reason that couples should decide to separate is if one spouse has a history of continuing behaviors that break down the marriage. These can be anything from addiction to infidelity. The marriage can only survive if couples work together to combat any issues they are facing. If one spouse who is suffering from habitual problems refuses to correct them, a break might be in order. The other spouse being affected can do nothing but sit at the sidelines and watch. That is not fair to them and it is not fair to anyone else involved either. Spouses will know that it is time to separate if the spouse who is committing the behavior is not showing any signs of stopping or even wanting to stop.

Separating as Therapy

Sometimes couples will separate as a way to work through any marital issues. While separation is never something to step into lightly, couples who choose to go this route – especially for therapeutic reasons – need to think about it very carefully. Couples who separate for these reasons may not be seeking to divorce, but their marriage might not be working out in the way that it once did. The goal of separation would be temporary with the hope of reconciling. During this time, they need to evaluate where both stand on the marriage and attend counseling together. This way they can determine if the marriage can still work. If not they know that it is time to divorce.

Separation for any reason should be thought about very carefully before couples split. All couples who are seeking this route should not take it lightly. If you or someone you know is thinking about separating, contact Christine Howard today. Christine or anyone on her team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the separation process. She can be reached at info@christinehoward.com or by phone at (864) 282-8575.

Referenced from “Things to Consider Before You Separate” by Focus on the Family.

Coping With the Effects of Divorce

Coping With the Effects of Divorce

Divorce is a difficult process for couples to go through. Not only is it difficult legally and financially, it is also difficult emotionally. The impact of divorce can leave emotional scars on both spouses, but also on kids and other family members. After the divorce is finalize, the next step is to begin the healing process. There are several methods of coping with divorce that have proven to be helpful.

 Get Some Rest

First, make sure to rest after the divorce. Realize that it is okay to not be okay and that it will take time to get back to normal. During this time, if you don’t feel like you can function at the level you used to, that is alright. Take the time to rest, and begin to reconstruct your life. This way when you can go back to work and be more productive than you could have been before.

Surround Yourself With Friends

In the time after the divorce, it is important to be among friends and family. This is a difficult process and you need people who will support you through it. Talking with them about how you are feeling can help to release any pent up emotions that you may have. Along with being around friends, it can be helpful to join support groups. Talking with others in similar situations can help you to cope with your own. You also now have others to talk to who understand what you are feeling.

Take Care of All Your Needs

When coping with divorce, you need to spend time taking care of both your physical and emotional needs. Take time out of your schedule to either develop or continue a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating right, exercising, making sure to get rest. By doing this you can work to return to normalcy. Developing healthy habits will give your mind a way to deal with the stress.

Take Time for Your Interests

Another way to cope with the effects of divorce, spend time doing things you like to do. Work on developing hobbies that you liked to do apart from your spouse. You have the opportunity now, why not take it? Doing things that you enjoy will also help you to get your mind off of things. It is important to take time to relax and still have fun after your divorce. Plus, taking a more active interest in your hobbies can help you make new friends as well.

Everything Will Be Fine

Finally, it is important to remember that everything is going to be alright. Coping with divorce is not easy, but your life will return to normal. While normal will be different from what you are used to, you will need to establish a new normal.  It’s hard. But ultimately, you will be better for it in the long run.

Divorce is never an easy process to go through. It can have both physical and emotional effects for everyone involved. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, contact Christine Howard today. Christine or one of her team members will be happy to answer any questions that you have. Christine can be reached at info@christinehoward.com or by phone at (864) 282-8575.

Referenced from “Coping with Separation and Divorce” by Mental Health America

What You Need to Know Before Filing for Separation

What You Need to Know Before Filing for Separation

Separation is never an easy process for couples to go through. Not only is it emotionally difficult, but it can be legally difficult too. For couple wanting to separate, knowing what steps to take before filing for separation is crucial.

What Does Separation Mean?

In this state, the law requires that spouses live separately for one year before continuing the divorce. What does living separately mean? It means that couples need to reside in different houses before they can qualify for a no-fault divorce. During this time the couples cannot share a house for any reason. Filing for separation will only be able to move forward if couples make plans to move into separate residences.

Dividing Assets

After a couple has taken separate residences, they will need to start going through their finances. As individuals, they will not be able to hold joint accounts after the divorce. It is important during this time to start gathering together a financial plan that will last into the separation and divorce. Couples need to determine a variety of things. Equally splitting any assets involved is the most important part. Assets are anything that the couple owns together. Things like the house, cars, financial accounts, and any other possessions qualify as assets. When a couple separates they will no longer be able to share ownership of these things, so they need to decide who will take what.

Along with determining who takes what, couples need to determine who will pay any debts that are owed. This can cover anything from mortgage to car payments to personal loans that are due. Couples who are separated cannot continue to work together to pay these off. The responsibility has to be given to one spouse. It is up to the couple to determine who is in the best place financially to handle the burden of debt. Neither spouse has to take on all of the debt though. It can be split between spouses with one taking the house payment, another taking a car payment, etc.

Going Through Your Finances

Couples will also need to create separate accounts for everything. Joint accounts will no longer be valid when the couple is not together. Couples need to go through and first close any joint accounts. These include all accounts, checking, savings, credit, etc. Then they need to move their individual finances into new accounts that belong solely to them. Couples also need to set budgets for themselves for after the separation. Regardless of how much each spouse makes, the amount of income will be lower than before. To stay financially stable during this time, spouses will need to know how much income will be coming in and budget accordingly. This way neither one will enter single life with financial struggles.

We Help You Navigate Separation Agreements

Separation will be a difficult process in many ways for everyone involved. But planning for the separation will help the couple to transition smoothly. If you or someone you know is looking to enter into separation, contact Christine Howard today. Christine and her team of attorneys will be glad to answer any questions that you have about the separation process. Christine can be reached at info@christinehoward.com or by phone at (864) 282-8575.

Referenced from “9 Things to do Before You File for a Divorce” by Cathy Meyer

Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Separation Agreement

Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Separation Agreement

Separation agreements can be created by many different methods. Many are able to be done by the couple themselves without any outside help. This certainly makes the process seem simpler. After all, who wants to spend all their time sitting in a divorce lawyer’s office? However, creating separation agreements without an attorney is not always as simple as it might seem. There are several aspects of the agreement that attorneys are able to help couples understand. Without them, couples might become lost and enter into an agreement that neither one will be happy with. Hiring an attorney for a separation agreement is the best option for your divorce.

Drafting Agreements

Drafting the separation agreement is an area that attorneys specialize in. When couples try to create their own divorce agreement, many will use a template found on the internet. This is not terrible, but it is not the best method either. Templates from the internet will usually be generic. They also might not reflect the laws of the state that the couple is living in. Couples working without outside help on agreements might also try to move through the process too quickly. They can become caught up in the prospect of ending the marriage, they might not realize how they are ending it. As a result they can unknowingly give away important assets in the divorce.

How Attorneys Can Help

This is where attorneys are incredibly helpful. They understand the state divorce laws and can create an agreement that accurately abides by them. Along with creating an agreement that reflects specific needs, attorneys are also knowledgeable about language. They know what language will ensure that both parties get what they want. By knowing how to write the agreement, they can better ensure that each spouse will be treated fairly in the divorce as well.

Attorneys will also be more thorough in their process. While they understand that couples are ready for the marriage to be over, they see the marriage from the outside. Their position allows them to work through the process to ensure that the divorce is handled in a way that benefits everyone as much as possible. While the marriage might not be handled as quickly as possible, the couple will not regret loosing certain assets because of a rushed agreement.

Divorce is never an ideal situation. Whenever faced with problems, couples should try everything to save the marriage before considering divorce. When divorce becomes the only option, the best method to use is through a divorce attorney. While couples can work on it themselves, there is a larger chance that they will create an agreement that does not provide the best divorce possible. By hiring an attorney, couples will be able to reach a legal agreement that both parties can be happy with.

If you or someone you know is seeking a divorce, but does not know where to start, contact Christine Howard today. Christine or any member of her team will be happy to answer any questions about the process that you have. She can be reached by email at info@christinehoward.com or by phone at (864) 282-8575.

Referenced from Do You Need an Attorney for a Separation Agreement? by Melannie Dino

Can a Separation Agreement be Overturned?

Can a Separation Agreement be Overturned?

For many couples, divorce is the outcome of their marriage. No matter how hard they tried to make it work, nothing could help. They filed for a separation agreement, and began the process of divorce. Unfortunately, this is the end for the majority of these couples. But could their separation agreement be changed or overturned? The answer is yes. Separation agreements can be changed or overturned by the court. However, this is an incredibly difficult process and cannot be achieved easily. There are only a few circumstances where this is possible.

When are Separation Agreements Valid?

First, it is important to remember that a separation agreement is not valid until it is signed by both parties. If both spouses decide during the process that they want to reconcile, then they can nullify the agreement. It can be done if one spouse has already signed. During the negotiation period, it is crucial that couples read the separation agreements very carefully. When one spouse presents their “draft agreement” it is safe to assume that this is their strongest argument. Reading this carefully and fully understanding it will help couples in the long run. If both spouses sign and then try to overturn the agreement later, the argument “I did not understand this,” is not going to be very helpful.

When both parties have signed the agreement, but either one or both spouses want it to be changed, couples can begin by negotiating an “addendum.” This is an addition to the original agreement that acts as if it was a part of the agreement from the beginning. Addendums can successfully change separation agreements if both parties agree to sign it. If one party does not, then it cannot be considered valid.

How Can Agreements be Overturned?

Regarding overturning separation agreements, this is an almost impossible process. The courts are the best place to attempt it. The level of difficulty in overturning separation agreements varies in each state. For instance, in some states there are only two things that can get an agreement overturned by the court. The first is if a spouse signed under duress. This means that if the spouse was forced to sign through the threat of violence. The second is that the agreement is deemed unconscionable. This means that the person who signed was not of sound mind.

Why Are Separation Agreements Hard to Overturn?

Both of these claims are difficult to prove. For instance, duress requires that extreme behavior was taken to get a spouse to sign. This would cover having a gun held to the head of one spouse by the other. Purely verbal threats are not enough on their own to grant the overturning of an agreement. Listing the threats in the court case will certainly help the case though, so don’t rule them out completely.

For unconscionability, this can be hard to prove because judges know that people sign terrible agreements all the time. People do not have to be insane to sign bad agreements. Sound-minded individuals sign these for almost any reason, especially if they are desperate enough. Some marriages fit this description. Spouses are so desperate to get out that they are willing to sign anything if it means the end of their marriage. The best chance that couples have of getting an agreement thrown out by unconscionability is if one spouse received literally everything in the marriage while the other walked away empty handed.

Separation agreements are not easy to overrule. However, this does not mean that it cannot be done. If you or someone you know is going through a separation and is starting to rethink their decision, please contact Christine Howard today. Christine will be glad to talk with you and answer any questions you may have regarding your agreement. Contact her by email at info@christinehoward.com. She can also be reached by phone at (846) 282-8575.

Referenced from “What If I Already Signed a Separation Agreement” by Katie Carter.

Simple Divorce – How A Separation Agreement Works

Simple Divorce – How A Separation Agreement Works

When a couple decides to divorce, it can be a difficult time. Both members are having to adjust to a new normal. No divorce is ever easy, but sometimes they can be made simpler. One way is through a separation agreement. A separation agreement is one of the best ways to help ease the difficulties that divorce brings.

How It Works

A separation agreement allows couples to determine how to divide their assets before the divorce. This way a couple can work out who will receive what before the actual process of divorcing begins. This can come as a relief for many couples. A divorce is already stressful enough. No one wants to add fighting over assets to the to-do list as well.

How It Helps a Divorce

Rather than settle how finances will be divided or who will gain custody of any children in court, a separation agreement helps to settle these issues out of court. In South Carolina, a separation agreement is gained during the period of separation, which must be for a least a year before a couple can legally proceed with a divorce. This time apart can sometimes be the deciding factor in whether or not a couple ultimately decides to separate or stay together.

Contact Us

We at Christine M. Howard Law are committed to ensuring that every couple who is looking to split is able to go through the divorce with dignity. If you or your spouse are wanting a divorce, but are not sure what the best course of action to take is, feel free to contact us at info@christinehoward.com or call us at (864) 282-8575.