Legal separation is a complex business

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Legal Separation on Thursday, July 3, 2014.

There are many reasons that a marriage may end up not working out, but whatever the reasons, our country currently hosts a very high divorce rate. While it’s true that nobody should stay in a marriage that is no longer making them happy, divorce isn’t the only option. Couples who feel that their marriage isn’t working out can enter into a separation agreement. Legal separation affords couples many of the same options as divorce, including asset division and child custody arrangements.

Another factor of separation that may be an oversight to some couples is that of debt. If you accrued debt in your marriage, you may not realize that just because you agreed in your divorce settlement or separation agreement that your spouse would pay a certain debt doesn’t mean that the debt is not your problem. The fact of the matter is that creditors care about getting their money back, not about who pays it to them. This means, for example that if your ex-spouse dies without paying the debt back, the creditors may seek you out to make up the difference.

Much as we’d like to think that a divorce and legal separation free us completely from our previous marriages, there are some aspects of the marriage that remain, particularly if a third party, such as a creditor, was involved. This situation is avoidable, however, if you enter into an accord and satisfaction agreement with the creditor and your spouse is able to offer collateral and repay the debt.

Examples like these emphasize how complex divorces and legal separations can be. The division of two lives is not a simple process. Missouri law allows couples to enter into separation agreements that can have an effect on divorce cases, making it very important to sort such issues out. Legal assistance can help ensure that your divorce or legal separation is handled properly and that you are free to start a new life and look for new love.

Source:, “Your dead ex-spouse’s debt can still haunt you,” Matt Knight, June 28, 2014

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