Legal Separation

Legal SeparationLegal separation actions are fairly uncommon. However, in some instances legal separations are a good alternative to divorce actions if both parties are in agreement about all issues that may be affected by a separation (e.g., finances, child support, parenting plan). McKinley Irvin divorce and legal separation attorneys can assist in determining and executing the best course of action in these situations.

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Reasons for Choosing Legal Separation over Divorce

Some couples may have strong religious convictions that require them to avoid a divorce. Yet, they may wish to live apart and financially disconnect from one another. In such cases, a legal separation is an excellent option.

In some instances, older couples who no longer wish to live as husband and wife may seek an attorney’s help to settle their affairs through a legal separation, but continue to be legally married. This can often avail one or both spouses to continued insurance or other benefits that are conditioned on the existence of a legal marriage.

Legal separation actions resolve the same issues that would be resolved 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 at the end of the case.

Although parties can remain legally separated indefinitely, once a decree of legal separation is entered either party may request that the decree of separation be converted into a decree of divorce. This request can only be made after six months has passed from the court’s entry of the separation decree. Once the divorce decree is entered, the marriage will be dissolved.

If you would like to further explore the pros and cons of legal separation versus divorce, we invite you to contact our office for an appointment with one of our divorce and legal separation attorneys.