You may have questions and doubts about your marriage, but you know something must change. Things may be unbearable now, but you hope your marriage could improve in the future. A separation allows you and your spouse time away from each other, time to settle down, and resolve issues that are causing trouble in the marriage.
Separation is the legal process to live apart before filing for divorce. Separation gives you space from your spouse and may allow you and your spouse to eventually continue in the marriage. A divorce, on the other hand, permanently ends the marriage. If you are not sure you are ready for divorce, but need some time to resolve your issues, consider these different types of separations:
Under this arrangement, one spouse decides to move out of the family residence and the couple, although still married, lives apart. The couple usually works out schedules and obligations, so if children are involved, their schedule can be uninterrupted.
Trial separation offers couples time and space to “cool off.” This gives them the chance to realize one of two options: the problems in their marriage cannot be fixed, and divorce is the only option, or they made a commitment to their spouse and they must reconcile.
Under this arrangement, divorce is imminent. Various reasons cause the divorce to be delayed (finances, children, etc.) and living together is out of the question. During this separation, most states require each spouse to pay their own bills, except when debts are accumulated to sustain the family home or their children.
Legal separation most resembles a divorce. This option safeguards the interests of both spouses while they make a decision regarding their future. Some kind of documentation or legal agreement is usually involved.
Some states require the couple to request a legal separation before they file for divorce. Child custody, visitation, and division of property issues are decided by the courts.
There are some religious or cultural beliefs that do not allow a couple to file for divorce. In this case, a legal separation protects them legally without divorcing.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
Sometimes a couple believes that they must file for divorce when all they really need is time away from each other. Take a look at the various types of separation before making a final, permanent decision such as divorce.
Whether you are contemplating a legal separation or a divorce, you will need legal assistance. Divorce lawyers understand divorce laws and can help you with all aspects of your divorce case including: child custody, child support, spousal support and property distribution. Find a lawyer in your area who can answer your divorce questions.
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