Understanding divorce and legal separation

Understanding divorce and legal separation

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Divorce/Separation on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

When a couple has made the difficult decision to divorce, they may wonder what the divorce process will look like for them. In addition, couples considering divorce may wonder what options they have and how the process will play out in their situation.

There is no requirement in Missouri for a couple to legally separate prior to divorcing. Once they have filed for divorce, however, there is a 30-day waiting period that requires them to live apart. The laws and requirements differ in Illinois and in Kansas. In Kansas, there is a 60-day waiting period to divorce. In Illinois, a marriage is considered irretrievably broken after the couple has lived apart for 6 months. Because divorce laws vary by state, it is important to be familiar with the divorce and family laws in the state where the couple plans to file for their divorce.

Legal separation can serve several important purposes for couples considering divorce. It can allow them time to resolve divorce-related concerns beforehand including property division, spousal maintenance, child support and child custody. In addition, it can impact what property is considered marital property and will be subject to division during the divorce process. It can also provide the couple with time to decide if they want to divorce and may also serve as a period of time when they pursue marriage counseling or other resources.

It is important for couples considering divorce to also consider a legal separation and have a separation agreement. Couples considering divorce should understand their options and the difference between divorce and legal separation. The family law process provides different resources to help couples and families through the concerns they face which is why couples should be familiar with the legal resources available to them.

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