On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Legal Separation on Thursday, July 9, 2015.
As with many aspects of family law, each state treats particular issues differently. When it comes to divorce, Missouri is a no-fault state, which means that divorces are often granted even if neither spouse is determined to be at fault of any marital offense such as adultery or abandonment/negligence. Additionally, there is no separation requirement couples must meet before filing for divorce. However, there are always multiple circumstances that could affect any given case, and divorce is no different.
While any member of a marriage can claim that the marriage is unsalvageable and thus request a divorce, the courts are not necessarily obligated to grant it. This is especially true of the other spouse denies the claims, asserting that the marriage is not irretrievably broken. In these instances, courts may grant a legal separation instead of a divorce, often with the intent of allowing couples to work out their differences or come to a greater understanding of what a divorce would mean.
When a couple is legally separated, they are still technically married in the eyes of the law, but their lifestyle often becomes much closer to that of a divorced couple than a married one. In fact, legal separation comes with a separation agreement, often mandated by the courts, which establishes the guidelines by which couples will be living separately. These guidelines can include child custody, asset division and more.
You do not have to wait for a court to issue a requirement for legal separation. If you are unsure of the future of your marriage, you could file for a separation agreement that would give you and your spouse a better idea of how divorce would affect your lives and the lives of any children you may have.