Deciding whether to end your marriage in a divorce or opt for a legal separation can be hard. If you think there is still a chance for reconciliation or want to be away from your spouse for a while, you may want to consider a legal separation. As with divorce, legal separation involves addressing issues such as child custody and support, spousal support, property division, and others. Because of this, you need a legal separation lawyer in maplewood by your side to help protect your interests and rights.
Both divorce and legal separation present benefits based on your marriage situation. If you cannot make a decision, your attorney can help you determine the best option for you.
Legal Separation versus Divorce
If you are legally separated, you stay married to your spouse even if you live separately. If you decide to file for a divorce, you must take the necessary steps involved.
You and your spouse may choose legal separation over divorce if you think you can still reconcile after spending time away from each other. Also, you may want to be legally separated if you don’t want to experience the stress associated with divorce or if you have religious and moral beliefs to hold against divorce. If one spouse is nearly entitled to the government benefits of the other, legal separation may be a wise option. Legal separation allows one spouse to be on the health insurance plan of the other.
In addition, legal separation and divorce differ in terms of the ground. A divorce in Missouri can be granted to a couple whose marriage is irretrievably broken. Meanwhile, legal separation is granted if the marriage of a couple isn’t irretrievably broken, which means there is still a chance it can be saved. Both spouses should agree to pursue a legal separation.
Separation Agreement or Litigation?
As with a divorce, you and your spouse can litigate your separation issues and let a judge issue an order regarding property division, child custody and support, as well as spousal support. But litigation can be costly and time-consuming. Plus, you may not be happy with the result of litigation.
If you and your spouse can agree on the issues involved in your separation, you can have your attorney write an agreement for you and file this with the court. In this case, the judge will incorporate your agreement into the final orders and judgment, ensuring it is fair to you and your spouse.