Daniele Johnson & Associates

How Does Separate Maintenance Work in a Family Law Case?


When it comes to ending a relationship, there is often more to consider than just hurt feelings. There can be assets such as a home, retirement savings, or vehicles. But there can also be children involved which will add another layer of financial stress. If a couple chooses separate maintenance over divorce, how does that work for the children? This is a complicated question and will vary for each family, and an Atlanta family law lawyer will be able to help you understand which is the right answer for your family. Here is a brief overview of separate maintenance as it relates to family law.

What is Separate Maintenance with an Atlanta Family Law Lawyer?

When a couple wants to separate, there are many ways to do so. One such method is called separate maintenance. You may also hear this referred to as legal separation. Essentially, the couple will remain legally married, but all aspects of their lives will be separated including housing and finances.

This option is often chosen for those who do not want to divorce due to religious reasons, or for those who would not otherwise be able to financially support themselves without the spouse’s income. There are several pros and cons, and it’s up to each party to decide if this option is right for them.

How is it Different from Divorce?

Unlike separate maintenance, divorce is the ending of a relationship with no chance of reconciliation. Parties will separate all aspects of their lives permanently and forever. They will divide assets, live separately, and not rely on each other for financial or healthcare benefits. It is a serious decision that should not be made lightly.

How Does it Affect Children?

Regardless of how it comes about, when two parents decide to end their relationship, it greatly affects the children. In the case of a separate maintenance agreement, child custody, grandparent visitation, and child support are all topics that will need to be discussed and both parents will need to come to an agreement, often with the help of a family law attorney.

If the parents are able to reconcile their relationship issues and decide they want to live together and combine finances again, a new agreement may need to be decided in regards to the children’s lives with the help of an Atlanta family law lawyer. If, however, the couple decides to permanently separate through divorce, they will need to discuss if they would like to continue the current separate maintenance situation or modify it to suit a more permanent change.

Discuss Your Options with an Atlanta Family Law Lawyer

If you are seeking to explore your options with ending a relationship, Daniele Johnson & Associates is here to help. We can discuss your current situation and your desires for the future to help you determine if separate maintenance is right for you and your family. Please reach out to our Atlanta family law lawyer today by calling 770-984-5311 or sending a message online. We want you to know that we are here for you during this difficult time and will do everything we can to care for you and your family.

Daniele C. Johnson Esq.

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