Sometimes spouses feel they just need a break. They are not ready to commit to a divorce, but they are not committed to staying together. In those situations they often ask if we can help them obtain a “legal separation.” The term “legal separation” is commonly used in other states that require minimum periods of separation prior to a divorce taking effect. However, no such waiting period exists in Alabama. As such, “legal separations” are not common in Alabama. While Alabama does not recognize a “legal separation”, there are legal ways to effectively accomplish the same thing. A “Legal Separation Agreement” can be negotiated to protect each parties respective interests that would otherwise be handled through the divorce decree. The parties can enter into the contract providing for the division of assets, child custody and visitation, alimony, and any other matter of concern. However, even if the parties sign such an agreement, they remain legally married. Such an agreement typically provides that the contract can be dissolved upon mutual agreement at any time, and that any party to the contract can void the contract by filing a petition for divorce with the domestic relations court. If you and your spouse are considering a legal separation arrangement, the domestic relations attorneys at Boles Holmes White LLC are ready to assist you in drafting a settlement document to cover you and your spouse’s agreement. Contact us today and discuss your rights under a legal separation agreement in Alabama at 205-502-2000.