If my husband and I want to separate, can a written agreement be considered a legal separation?

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If my husband and I want to separate, can a written agreement be considered a legal separation?

We cannot afford filing fees through the courts; we have made agreements as far as money, expenses, and property. The only child involved is mine from a previous relationship. We do not want to go to court due to the high cost and we have been able to work everything out and have put it on paper. I am wondering if we have this agreement, are we considered legally separated?

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Family Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The agreement is not and won't be considered a legal separation. It could mark a separation but only a court ordered separation is considered a legal separation. Secondly, you will be putting yourself at risk if he changes his mind about particular portions of your agreement. Contact the court and see if they have a conciliation office or mediation office for you to work an agreement and present to the judge in a joint fashion.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you and your husband wish to legally separate as opposed to divorcing each other and are concerned about the costs to do so, I suggest that you go to a legal aid clinic to see what assistance can be given you.

Ordinarily, to have a legal separation for debt issues, a filing in the superior court of where the parties reside of a petition for a legal separation is done. The agreement of the parties concerning the legal separation is filed with the court after it is signed and dated by them and an order is issued by a judge concerning such.

Until you have a court order for legal separation, you are not deemed legally separated under the law.


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