Can legal separation affect a divorce?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Legal Separation on Friday, February 19, 2016.

Many couples use legal separation as a way to explore whether divorced life would truly benefit them or if they should work through their troubles to stay married. Some couples choose to get back together, and other couples choose to officially divorce following a legal separation. Legal separation often has a significant effect on divorce, mainly because provisions established in the separation agreements such as child custody or spousal support, may be carried over in a divorce. There are some ways in which legal separation might complicate divorce, however.

Depending on the state you live in and the circumstances of your legal separation, the acquisition of assets could be handled differently if you actually decide to divorce. In a trial separation, for instance, any property acquired by either party is usually still considered marital property, and would thus be subject to asset division during a divorce. However, if you acquire assets while living separately with no intention to continue the marriage, such assets may not be considered marital property.

The specifics of these classifications can have a significant impact on the way a divorce plays out, and it varies depending on the state. That is why it is recommended that couples who are going through a legal separation or are seeking divorce after legal separation enlist the aid of an attorney.

If you live in Missouri and you are curious about how your legal separation will affect divorce, or if you are simply considering legal separation and wish to learn more about it, do not hesitate to contact an attorney who is familiar with Missouri law. This legal expertise can help you better decide whether legal separation is right for you, and it could ultimately affect a divorce if you decide to get one.

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