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On legal separation and how it can help

The phrase "legal separation" means different things to different people, even though it is a defined legal process with a specific function. To some, legal separation means that a married couple has decided to live apart for a little while as they try to figure out their marital problems. To others, legal separation means a divorce. However, neither of these perceptions about legal separation are correct. It is not a divorce and it is not obtained by simply living in different places.

Legal separation is a legal process that is similar to divorce, but it keeps the marriage intact. During legal separation, the spouses do live apart and they can even have factors that are inherent to divorce involved in their separation. For example, spousal maintenance and property division can play a role in legal separation. You can even transition your legal separation to a divorce if that is what you want to do.

So you may be wondering, then: why would someone want legal separation if divorce is an option anyway? Well, since legal separation keeps the marriage intact, it allows the spouses to keep any insurance they may share together, as well as keeping other intricate financial factors intact. There could also be religious considerations that the couple is considering, or the fact that they just don't want to deal with the stigma of being divorced.

Legal separation can be a helpful legal process for spouses who are experiencing marital strife. If you need help with legal separation or transitioning your separation to divorce, you should discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney.

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Goddard & Malmquist
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