When couples in Arizona experience marital problems, it is not unusual for them to separate. In some cases, this is an attempt to give both spouses the ability to "cool off" so that they can better work on their issues. However, a separation can also mark the end of a marriage. Because of the uncertainty of this situation, it's important for spouses to take precautions during a separation.
When a couple separates, they may want to consider drawing up a separation agreement. This covers many of the same things that a divorce settlement would, such as asset division and where each party will live during the separation.
At the time of separation, it's often wise to close joint bank accounts to prevent the possibility of one spouse draining all the money and leaving the other spouse with nothing. The same holds true for joint credit card accounts or accounts where one spouse is an authorized user of the other spouse's card. Both spouses should establish credit in their own names so as to make it easier to move on after a divorce.
It is very important that separated spouses be aware of their conduct during this period. Sticking to a budget is important as well. Overspending may be considered dissipation of assets and will work against the spender during divorce proceedings. It is also unwise for spouses to start dating during this time, as outside relationships can also negatively affect a divorce ruling.
Spouses who are considering separation or divorce may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client's case and make recommendations regarding issues such as pproperty division, spousal support and child custody.