How To File For Legal Separation

Steps to Filing for a Legal Separation

To get a legal separation, couples have to do more than live apart. A legal separation requires couples to go through a process that is almost similar to a divorce.

Legal separation usually involves the same issues that are involved in a divorce, child custody and visitation, alimony and child support and division of marital property and debts. However, in a legal separation, the division of property and debt is not always permitted.

The procedure for getting a legal separation typically involves the following processes;

  1. Filing papers with the court requesting a separation and proposing the terms.
  2. Unless both spouses file jointly, one spouse will need to be served with the papers.
  3. A spouse has a certain amount of time to respond after being served if he or she disagrees with the proposed terms of separation.
  4. If the other spouse responds, the two can try to reach an agreement on contested issues through negotiation or mediation.
  5. The agreement is then put in writing and signed by both spouses before being filed with the court.
  6. If the spouses cannot agree on the contested issues, the case will go before a judge.
  7. When all the issues are agreed to or decided by the judge, the judge will sign the separation judgment, and the couple will be legally separated.
  8. A legally separated couple will still be married and either of the spouses will not be free to marry anyone else.

Reasons to Seek Legal Separation.

A couple may prefer separation to divorce because one or both of them hopes to reconcile eventually.

A couple may also prefer separation if one them relies on the other for health insurance. Some health insurance plans will keep a legally separated spouse on the other’s plan.

To qualify for social security benefits and military benefits, a couple should be married for at least 10 years.

Some couples may also pursue separation because divorce conflicts with their religious beliefs.

If you want to learn more about how to legal separation, contact Payam Mark Shayani at Pacific Attorney Group. Mr. Shayani is a qualified attorney with decades of experience in family law.

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