Legal separation actions are fairly uncommon. In some instances, however,
legal separations are beneficial alternatives to
divorce actions. As part of a legal separation, the court still enters orders
affecting finances and property,
child support, and parenting.
McKinley Irvin's experienced Washington divorce and legal separation
attorneys can assist you with formulating and executing the best course
of action in these circumstances.
What is Legal Separation?
Legal separation actions deal with the same issues that couples attempt
to resolve in a divorce, such as
child custody and parenting plan issues, child support, property and debt distribution,
and spousal maintenance.
The major difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that the
parties remain legally married.
Couples who enter into legal separation agreements can remain separated
indefinitely, or if they choose, can request the separation be converted
into a decree of divorce. The only stipulation for converting a decree
of separation into a decree of divorce in Washington is that
six months must pass from the court's entry of the separation decree. Once the
divorce decree is entered, the marriage will be dissolved.
Reasons for Choosing Legal Separation over Divorce
Reasons for choosing legal separation can vary. A couple may desire to
no longer live as spouses, but still wish to remain eligible for benefits
such as healthcare, retirement, taxes, immigration, or other rights. Some
couples may have strong religious convictions that do not allow for divorce,
yet they wish to live apart and be financially independent. In cases such
as these, a legal separation is a suitable option.
Learn More About Your Options
McKinley Irvin is committed to helping clients explore their options for
divorce or separation and determine which is best for them. We also educate
our clients about each of these options and provide step-by-step assistance
through the entire process. If you would like to further explore whether
legal separation is the best fit for you, we invite you to contact our office.