Experienced Knoxville Separation Lawyers

Limited divorce agreements that preserve your rights

Tennesseans contemplating divorce must consider the impact of marital dissolution on all aspects of their lives. For some, divorce conflicts too much with their religious beliefs. For others, ending the marriage means terminating healthcare benefits on which their current spouse relies. Still others are not ready for the finality of divorce, but want their rights protected while they take a break from the pressures of marriage.

LaFevor & Slaughter offers patient counsel to clients who have questions about family law issues. We recommend workable legal solutions for your particular circumstances. If you want a complete explanation of your options, including the pros and cons of legal separation, LaFevor & Slaughter is the place to come.

Legal separation protections in Knoxville

If your break from marriage lasts beyond a weekend, you should be aware of the advantages of formalizing your time apart as a legal separation. Perhaps more importantly, you need to know the disadvantages of failing to do so.

With a legal separation agreement:

  • Duties regarding the mortgage payment and upkeep of the marital home are clearly defined
  • Joint checking accounts, joint credit cards and other sources of debt are separated
  • You can still file your income tax jointly, if that gives you a tax advantage
  • Spousal support is tax deductible

Without a legal separation agreement:

  • Your spouse could allow the home to fall into disrepair, leading to loss of property value
  • Your spouse could continue to run up debt for which you would be jointly responsible
  • You must file your income tax separately
  • Any money given to your spouse for support is not tax deductible

Even if you believe your marriage is irretrievable, you might still want a legal separation instead of a divorce. You or your spouse might be dependent on employee benefits that will terminate when the marriage ends. You might be close to qualifying for Social Security or military pension benefits. If those benefits are a year from vesting, it makes more economic sense to separate for the year than to end the marriage and lose your benefits.

Attorneys helping you transition from legal separation to absolute divorce

If a couple has lived under a legal separation agreement that defines issues such as child supportchild custody and alimony, the court will often use it as the basis for a final divorce decree. A spouse who wants to change the terms after abiding by them for a couple of years faces an uphill battle. Therefore, a quick and insufficient legal separation agreement will leave too many post-divorce issues to litigate. A sound legal separation agreement must anticipate absolute divorce to fully protect your rights.

Contact a knowledgeable legal separation attorney in Knoxville

For complete information on the advantages and disadvantages of filing for a legal separation in Tennessee, visit LaFevor & Slaughter. Call us at 865-637-6258 or contact our Knoxville office online.