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Washington Legal Separation Attorney

Helping Clients File for Legal Separation

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 legal separation lawyers can assist you with formulating and executing the best course of action in these circumstances.

Call a separation lawyer at (206) 625-9600 to discuss whether legal separation is right for you.

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
  • Spousal maintenance

The major difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that the parties remain legally married.

Does Legal Separation Always End in Divorce?

No, separation does not always lead to divorce. Couples who enter into legal separation agreements can remain separated indefinitely.

However, a couple can request that the separation be converted into a decree of divorce. The only stipulation for converting a decree of separation in Washington is that six months must pass from the court's entry of the separation decree. Once the new decree is entered, the marriage will be dissolved.

Why Choose Legal Separation over Divorce?

Reasons for choosing legal separation can vary, especially as there are so many advantages to separation.

A couple may desire to no longer live as spouses but still wish to remain eligible for certain benefits, such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Retirement
  • Taxes
  • Immigration
  • And 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.

In addition, legal separation is often used as a dummy run for divorce. Spouses can get a feel of what their lives would be like if they formally left the marriage. Alternatively, it can be used as an opportunity to work things out.

Find Out if Legal Separation Is Right for You

McKinley Irvin is committed to helping clients explore their options, such as whether to end their marriage or explore separation. We strive to help clients figure out which option is best for them. We also educate our clients about each of these options and provide step-by-step assistance throughout the entire process.

If you would like to further explore whether legal separation is the best fit for you, contact a separation attorney online today.

Further Reading:

  • Best Lawyers
  • Best Law Firms
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • Puget Sound Business Journal Washington's Best Workplaces 2023
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year 2024
  • Avvo Rating 10.0