Legal separation is a legal procedure where you can get everything entered with the court as if it were a divorce, without it actually being a divorce. Some advantages to legal separation are you can enter final papers immediately if everybody agrees, as opposed to waiting 90 days if it were divorce (however, if children are involved, the court will not enter the papers until the parties have taken a mandatory parenting class). Also, many times you can continue to be covered under a spouse's insurance when you are legally separated but cannot if you are divorced. The disadvantages to legal separation are you cannot remarry until that legal separation becomes a divorce. Also, from a moral perspective, any relationships with a legally separated person would be a relationship with a married person.
If you change your mind after the final orders are entered for legal separation, after six months you can move the court to convert the decree of legal separation to one of divorce. Regardless of whether you want a divorce or legal separation, the problems are exactly the same as a divorce. You still face the same problems establishing a parenting plan, child support, maintenance, and/or dividing property and debts. That is why it is important to have a skilled lawyer representing your interests in a legal separation. Even if the legal separation is not contested, it is still important to have a lawyer helping you make sure that your interests are reflected in the final paperwork.
At the Law Office of Charlie Shane PLLC, we have helped many people with their legal separations. Please give us a call at (or send us an email if you would like to help of experienced legal separation lawyer.
The Law Office of Charlie Shane, PLLC
755 Winslow Way E., Suite 207
Bainbridge Island WA 98110
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