Together but Apart: Alternatives to Divorce

When determining whether to divorce your spouse, it is important that you have a wealth of information regarding all of your options.  Many people believe the only way to feel comfortable leaving a current spouse is through a final divorce, however there are other ways to get the distance you need without the finality and drama of an absolute divorce.  If you consult a local family law attorney, they can provide you with the information you need to make a sound decision that best fits your needs.

What Is Legal Separation?

Legal separation is a divorce alternative that allows couples to end their relationship with each other without completely ending their marriage.  

There are many reasons a couple may choose legal separation over divorce.  Whether it be for religious reasons or some other practical purpose such as financial maintenance or health insurance reasons, legal separation can be an answer for many issues you may be facing.

How To Get a Legal Separation

To obtain a legal separation you will need to do the following:

  1. File a petition for legal separation;
  2. Make decisions on about custody, child support, alimony, and property division (between the spouses or by the court); and
  3. Get a final judgment of legal separation from the court.

Separation Agreements

An alternative that will keep you out of court, but still separated, is a separation agreement.  A separation agreement will be a legally binding contract that covers all of the typical topics such as custody, child support, visitation, property division, and alimony.  A separation agreement, unlike a legal separation, does not require any adjudication by the courts.  

The Importance of Hiring An Attorney

Many may think that proceedings that do not involve trial or significant court time relieve the spouses from needing to seek professional legal advice, however that is a misconception.  One of the most critical things you can do at this time is hire a local family law attorney who can help you decide which tools are best for your situation.  Further, negotiation with the other party at this time should include legal counsel for both parties.

If you are looking for alternatives to an absolute divorce, you should speak to an experienced attorney who has knowledge of how to help you achieve your goals.  If you contact the office of Charles D. Stark, you will have more than just a divorce attorney; you will have a well rounded family law attorney who is focused on your needs. 

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