Married couples may be going through a difficult time but may not want to file for a divorce. If they need time apart to work through their emotions, they may wish to become legally separated. With a legal separation, the spouses are able to maintain the tax benefits that come along with a marriage. They may also be able to retain health care benefits. Other couples may not want to go against their religious beliefs by getting a divorce. Each case depends on the couple and the spouses involved. There can be many reasons. However, it is important to remember that a legal separation is not the same concept as a divorce. A divorce ends the marriage while a legal separation does not. For legal separations, spouses may get the space they need to be alone, but they must get a divorce to legally end their marriage.
How do I start the process?
When an individual wants to become legally separated from their spouse, they have a few options. They can become legally separated by executing a separation agreement. This agreement is a legally binding document that both parties must agree upon, sign and get notarized to make it official. In the document, it will address matters that would be involved in a typical divorce. This can include child custody, child support and other financial matters. The process can involve couples working together with their attorneys and a mediator to work toward a mutually agreed upon Separation Agreement. This process is similar to divorce mediation. If the couple does wish to get a divorce in the future, it can be made easier due to the Separation Agreement that is already in place.
Another method to get legally separated is to sue your spouse for a legal separation. To do this, you will need to file a complaint for legal separation at your local court. This option is not as used since it can be as time-consuming and expensive as an official divorce. Some couples may just opt to get a divorce during this form of the process. During the process of getting a legal separation, individuals should gain the counsel of a professional attorney to understand the process and what benefits can come from it as compared to divorce.
The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC is an experienced divorce and family law firm located in New City, NY. It is essential to retain effective legal guidance during such pivotal times in life. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal matter and get the quality legal representation you deserve.