Divorce has a heaviness to it that can be intimidating to some people who are
unhappy with the condition of their marriage. To completely and permanently
end a marriage (and any benefits the marriage may afford) causes many
couples to hesitate, even if they no longer want to be together. If you
are finding yourself in this situation, you should know that there is
a “comfortable in-between” called
In Washington, legal separation is a legal action that enacts certain elements
of a divorce, but does not end the marriage. This can be a benefit for
couples who rely on some of the benefits of being legally married. Some
people enjoy tax cuts for being married, others rely on their spouse for
health insurance, and others may need to be married to stay in the country.
A divorce would have removed all of that and more, but a legal separation does not.
Another benefit of legal separation is that it can give a couple room to
decide. Sometimes couples just need space and time apart before they can
work on the health of their marriage or decide to move forward with a
Deciding Divorce-Like Conditions
Just as legal separation looks like marriage in some ways, it also takes
on aspects of a full divorce and should be approached just as you would
with a divorce. In particular, you and your spouse – not ex-spouse
since you haven’t divorced, remember? – will need to make
decisions and come to agreements on many important aspects of your day-to-day
lives, just as if you were divorcing. To ensure that your interests are
protected, both spouses should seek out legal representation by a divorce attorney.
Legally separated couples will need to consider:
It is within this process that legal separation can become complicated,
as if it was a complete divorce. Legal separation involves many of the
same technical and legal aspects as divorce – it is not a quick
or easy solution, but one that may provide some couples with the best
of both worlds (married and divorced). To help avoid conflicts and get
a firm grip on the direction your marriage is taking, we invite you speak
with our Washington divorce attorneys at McKinley Irvin. We have offices
located throughout the state and would be happy to hear your case.
Contact us online to begin.