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Divorce is not the only available option when you’re considering ending your marriage. If you’re not sure about it or need more time to be sure, there are two other options; separation and legal separation. Read about the differences between the two below:

Legal Separation

If you decide to end your relationship, divorce is not your only option. Legal separation may be a better choice, depending on your situation. But what, exactly, is legal separation? In a legal separation, the couple remains married, yet live separately.

During this process, a court decides the specific rights of each spouse and their obligations. While rare, legal separations offer a married couple the ability to work through issues. Taking time – and literal space – both spouses, can seek ways to resolve personal and financial issues that would normally lead to a divorce. Read full post at Counsel First…

A legal separation provides a couple the chance to live away from one another but still remain married. It is the objective of the court to decide the specifics in regards to issues like spousal and child support, visitation rights and division of property and assets. However, in most states the court will require a couple to separate for a minimum period before any major decisions are made.

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“Separation” simply means living apart. You do not need to file court papers to separate and the law does not require you to live with your spouse. However, separating from your spouse may affect some of your legal rights, such as certain benefit status requirements or taxes. The best way to determine whether separation is the best option for you and your spouse is to talk to a qualified, experienced family law lawyer before separating.

If you do separate, you will need to work out arrangements for the care of the children, if you have any, child support/spousal support, and payment of bills. If disputes begin to arise, a mediator (a neutral third party who helps facilitate agreements) or a lawyer can help you and your spouse reach an understanding. Read full post at…

A separation is essentially the unofficial version of a legal separation that excludes the courts. However, your legal rights will be affected by such a separation. It is therefore still advisable to speak to a lawyer to protect yourself and your children once you separate from your spouse.

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When to Consider Separation

Consider a separation in lieu of a divorce if any of the situations below applies to you:

  • You and/or your spouse oppose divorce for religious or moral reasons
  • One spouse will soon become eligible for his or her spouse’s government benefits (such as Social Security)
  • One spouse will remain eligible for the other spouse’s health care or insurance benefits if they remain married
  • There is a tax benefit if you and your spouse remain married to one another
  • You and your spouse think there’s a chance you may reconcile after you’ve had time apart from one another
  • You are not yet eligible to file for a divorce under your state’s residency requirements or waiting period, but want a court-sanctioned separation agreement until you are eligible to file for divorce
  • You and/or your spouse find it less stressful to negotiate a separation agreement than to negotiate a divorce agreement. Read full post at…

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If you need assistance with a legal separation, contact attorney Jonathan Meek of Meek Law Firm. He has extensive experience with this area of the law and can guide you through the process. Call him today at (704) 848-6335 to discuss your needs.