What can I expect if I file for legal separation?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Legal Separation on Tuesday, September 30, 2014.

Legal separation can be confusing, particularly in how it differs from divorce. It may please you to know that there are many ways in which it is the same as divorce, even though couples who file for legal separation stay officially married. However, it’s important to know that there is still a legal process behind legal separation; couples are not considered legally separated simply because they haven’t been living together for a period of time. You may ask, when should you file for legal separation?

If you aren’t sure that you officially want to end your marriage, but you know that you don’t want to continue living with your spouse at the current time, then legal separation may be the best option for you. Signing a separation agreement begins the period of legal separation. The separation agreement dictates the circumstances of the separation, handling many of the same issues as a divorce settlement, including child custody and spousal supports.

It’s important to remember that legal separation will still be a significant lifestyle change, even though it is not an official divorce. Legally you may still be married to your spouse, but your lifestyle will likely be very similar to that of a divorced individual. As such, you may want to remove your name from documents or information that ties you to your spouse, such as apartment leases or mailing addresses. For a larger list of important steps that can make your separated life easier, click here.

Remember that not all states recognize separation documentation, but Missouri is one that does. If you believe that legal separation is right for you, consider meeting with an attorney at your earliest convenience to begin the process. It may help you reevaluate your marriage.

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