On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Divorce/Separation on Friday, March 6, 2020.
You and your spouse aren’t sure if you want to get a divorce, but you do know that you need time apart. If you’re in that position and aren’t sure what to do, one good option is to look into a legal separation.
A legal separation is not the same as a divorce, but it can offer you some protections. With a legal separation, there is a court order that will discuss your rights and duties as a couple who is living apart while still married.
Legal separations aren’t extremely common, but for those who are in the right kind of situation, they can be beneficial. Legal separations can allow you to:
- Keep your marital status
- Make financial decisions or medical care decisions for your spouse
- Reconcile more easily
- Keep your health care insurance or other benefits provided through your spouse
At the same time, a legal separation can protect you. You may be able to seek separation maintenance, which is similar to alimony or spousal support. You can ask for child support and set up custody arrangements. You can also begin working through property division.
Beneficially, since you’re living separately now, you may have a much easier divorce in the future if you choose to pursue it. Your assets will be separated (in most cases), and it’s likely that you’ll already have custody schedules set up for any children you have.
Overall, legal separation is a good idea if you think that you may want to reconcile with your spouse in the future. It can give you some protections now and help you keep your marital status until you decide what you want to do.