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Module 1:
Common Legal Issues When Separating

Whether you are involved in a dissolution of civil union or legal separation case, there are many legal problems you may have to address. Here are some common legal issues to be mindful of:

Dividing your civil union property and other assets

Many separating couples desire to ensure that their shared properties and assets are divided fairly. If you are seeking legal help from an attorney with this process, it is important to be prepared to provide a detailed description of your financial situation.

If have retirement savings with your partner – such as a pension, 401(k) plan, or an IRA savings account – you will likely have to obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) before dissolving your civil union.

Making decisions about the care for minor children

If you and your partner have any minor children together, the two of you will need to agree to a parenting plan. This is a court order that determines which parent(s) has primary custody of the child, as well as if any parent(s) has visitation rights.

Additionally, either partner can request to receive financial assistance from the other. This includes  alimony, as well as child support if you have minor children together.

Health, safety, and financial security

Separating from your partner can be an incredibly stressful process for many different parties involved. Contested cases, which may take years to resolve, are often emotionally and financially draining.

If you are struggling financially throughout the duration of your divorce case, you can request temporary financial help from your partner. This includes temporary alimony as well, or temporary child support if you have minor children together.

Additionally, if you find yourself in an unhealthy or dangerous situation, you can file to evict your partner from your residence, or obtain an order of protection. If you believe you are in immediate danger, please call 911.