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Separation question

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PurpleBirch posted 9/1/2013 16:16 PM

I will be calling on Tuesday to make an apt to see a lawyer, but I have a general question that I hope someone can answer. Can I go to a lawyer and say: let's fill out the forms for me to be legally separated & file them. Would I be legally separated right away? Do I have to get WH to sign something, or can I just do that part myself? I'm not talking about an agreement of what gets paid/custody/etc., just a "you're severed from this person" kind of thing.

I am going to look at an apt tomorrow that is available immediately. If I can move ASAP, the landlord would be happy (if they like me). I don't want to leave without being separated because I worry that WH will become vindictive & rack up some more on the credit card (although he could be doing that already... You never know).


Phoenix1 posted 9/1/2013 16:21 PM

Not all states recognize legal separation (mine does). In my state, both parties need to sign and it includes a separation agreement. The only way to do it (in my state) without the other person's agreement/signature is to file for divorce.

An attorney will explain your options in a consultation.

Take2 posted 9/1/2013 16:27 PM

Here there is no legal separation either - what you do is file for divorce and temporary orders - which include that neither of you can rack up debt in the others name, who takes care of what in the interim. It takes a judges signature - so yes a day in court.

PurpleRose posted 9/1/2013 16:46 PM

No legal separation here either. My attorney drew up a temporary separation agreement, he agreed to it so we both signed it and then my attorney filed it with the court.

In the preliminary papers both XWH and I stated our date of separation- and as far as the court was concerned any debt incurred after that date was not joint debt. Ask a lawyer for details in your state.

Nature_Girl posted 9/1/2013 16:47 PM

Food for thought:

Dreamboat posted 9/1/2013 17:01 PM

As others have said, some states to not recognize legal separation and others do. So consult a L on your best strategy.

However you can start separating your finances without any court order. Get your own checking account and change your direct deposit to that account. If you have a large amount in either a joint checking or savings account, then transfer 1/2 to an account in your name only. If you do this then keep meticulous records of the balance at the time you removed the money and how much you removed. For credit cards, most have a primary card holder so for the cards where you are primary then call and have him removed as an authorized user and for the ones he is primary then have yourself removed. Mention the D word and most companies will do that no questions asked. If you have any joint cards or lines of credit, then see if you can close those.

I would also advise that you get your credit report. You are legally able to get 1 free credit report from each of the big 3 reporting agencies once per year. Here is the government site that makes this seamless: . I advise that you get a report from one of the companies right now and look thru it and keep it for your records. Then in 4 months get one from another company and 4 months after that get one from the final company. That will allow you to see where you are now and if he is opening cards and adding you as an authorized user. If needed you can get a "freeze" on your credit and/or get a credit monitoring service but that costs money.

Good luck!

soveryweary posted 9/1/2013 18:34 PM

About the credit card, if it is a joint one, you can call and put a hold on it. I called the company and told them we were getting a divorce and they froze the account.

PurpleBirch posted 9/1/2013 18:56 PM

You guys were so helpful! I do want a divorce, no doubt about it. I just was worried about the debt thing. I was trying to see if it could be a temporary thing until I could file for D. I'll call early tuesday morning and have myself removed from his card. Luckily we never joined our finances, so my account is mine alone. The only thing we share is the credit card. He added me to his because my credit is not good.

Thanks again everyone!

soveryweary posted 9/2/2013 06:43 AM

Purple, when I called to be removed from our one joint credit card, they told me they couldn't remove me, so that's why I had them stop any more charges from going on it.
I was told the only way to get my name off of it was for him to reapply for the charge in his own name and then transfer the balance.
He won't do that, so it's going in the divorce decree that he is taking over that debt.
I would call the credit card company today and see if it's the same for you.
Take Care.

[This message edited by soveryweary at 6:44 AM, September 2nd (Monday)]

PurpleBirch posted 9/2/2013 07:21 AM

Thanks for the tip soveryweary. I was thinking that getting myself removed might not be as easy as I'd hoped.

On another note, I spoke with my mom about when she separated from my dad way back when (not A related). They had a legal separation with lawyers & everything. She said it was a big deal, and does hold up in court. Although, they never needed to test it as they got back togther after 6 months.

(ps: I live in Canada.)

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