Choosing to end one’s marriage is not an easy decision to make. A lot is at stake, and no one wants to make the wrong choice. If this is something you are thinking about but are unsure of, legal separation may be able to help bring clarity to the situation.
While taking a break, giving each other personal space can be helpful. However, it is not without its issues — especially if children are involved. For instance, some in Louisiana may find determining fathers’ rights during separation problematic.
Separation is more than just living apart
There are many reasons you may want to consider separation before filing for divorce. At the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is best for your personal situation. In Louisiana, just like other states, there are different types of separation available. An experienced attorney can help you decide which best applies to your circumstances.
You may not think you need to take any legal action if you want to separate from your spouse, but if you have children, failing to take the necessary legal steps may only hurt you down the line. Separation is trial divorce. During the separation you should get a clear picture of the following:
- How splitting assets will work
- What custody arrangements will look like
- Who will be required to pay child support
Mom does not automatically get the kids during a legal separation
Mothers often tend to assume the role of primary caregiver when couples choose to separate. In these situations, fathers are then left with visitation time. While this may actually be ideal for some families, there are others for whom other custody arrangements would be a better fit.
Unless there are reasons to refuse custody, fathers are not to have their requests for custody or even child support denied outright. You do have the right to seek joint or sole custody and to request child support if your request for custody is awarded.
While not necessary in order to eventually file for divorce in Louisiana, legal separation does have its benefits. Just like divorce, though, the separation process is not one through which you should rush due to the myriad of important decisions you may face.
Protecting fathers’ rights and achieving fair and equal treatment during the separation process will not come without some effort. If you are considering a separation, an experienced attorney can help you take the steps necessary to ensure the protection of your rights as a father.