When relationships become difficult, perhaps unmanageable, and the partners decide to separate, the question of a lawyer often arises. It may seem adversarial to seek counsel, but there are reasons to discuss your case with a divorce attorney. You may be surprised to find that discussing your case with an attorney can not only protect you, but can be beneficial to your spouse, as well. If there are children involved, their needs can be addressed and arrangements met that suit everyone. Even if you are not headed directly to a divorce, there are reasons to consult an attorney during a period of legal separation.


Custody issues are often a major bone of contention when a marriage heads toward dissolution. During a period of separation, you will want to have an agreement to clarify the rights and responsibilities of both parties so that the needs of the children are met. When you work with an attorney in this process, you can be sure that everyone agrees to the terms of the custody agreement, and have recourse in case that agreement is not honored. To make sure that you have adequate visitation with your children, or that your spouse is taking the kids for an equal share of the time, an agreement signed by both parties will define your arrangement. If the marriage does move to a divorce, these early custody documents can be templates for life post-divorce.

Child Support

There may be issues related to child support that must be discussed, to make sure that the children have their needs met. Where in the past, the children’s food and clothing were covered by a joint account, they now must be handled via separate accounts. An attorney experienced in these matters can make sure that you are protected and well cared for in these situations. Above all, an attorney can help both parties come to an equitable agreement that cares for the children. Defining the financial needs of the children now will help smooth out all future dealings related to child support.

Finances and Marital Assets

Financial matters are often paramount in separations and divorces. If you and your spouse have shared assets and property, it is important to begin to sort out those matters so that you maintain control of your rightful share. An attorney can assess your overall financial picture so that you can be certain to hold on to as much as possible, within the bounds of the law. It is important to go ahead and make arrangements for the future so that you don’t lose control of assets that are rightfully yours. For instance, you may want to restructure certain assets into a trust or with other financial instruments. If you find that you are paying spousal support, having a legally binding agreement to that effect will allow you to write those payments off on your taxes. Speak to an attorney to discover ways you can find a financial silver lining to a legal separation, even if you don’t move forward to a divorce.

If you find yourself going through a legal separation and need to speak with a lawyer, call Daniel Peters Family Law Attorney. His experience in this matter will help you through this stressful process.