Legal Separation as an Alternative to Divorce
A legal separation in Oregon is a process that involves essentially all
of the same issues as divorce — dividing property, determining custody,
paying child or spousal support, but the parties are still legally married
at the end of the case. So why do some couples choose to separate legally
instead of divorce?
Some people are not ready to divorce, but still wish to live apart from
his/her spouse. A legal separation allows them time to live apart while
also defining the rights and responsibilities for each spouse while living
separately. In Oregon, a separation agreement can establish precedence
for the divorce, if the couple ultimately decides to divorce.
Other reasons for legal separation instead of divorce include religious
beliefs, not meeting the Oregon residency requirements for divorce, the
ability to retain medical or other benefits that a divorce would terminate,
or to extend the marriage past a certain number of years in order to qualify
for certain government benefits, such as social security or a military pension.
Because the effects of legal separation are similar to a divorce, and you
have specific rights and obligations while separated, you should consult
a qualified divorce or family law attorney who has experience handling
legal separations. This attorney will help you decide whether legal separation
is a good choice for you.
Read More: The Costs of Divorce