Should I File for Divorce or Legally Separate From My Spouse?

Divorce is not the only option when deciding issues about the makeup of your family. For some couples, legal separation is a viable alternative to divorce. When considering how to best meet your family’s needs, our talented team of legal professionals explains the differences between divorce and legal separation so you can make a decision that is manageable for your family. Because the end result of a legal separation can look much the same as a divorce, it is important to know the differences.

Legal separation is a similar legal process to divorce. You must file a petition seeking a decree of separation and the process can take as long as the process to get a divorce. In addition, many of the same issues are involved, including:

  • Child support
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Parenting time and responsibilities
  • Spousal support (commonly referred to as alimony)
  • Property awards
  • Assignment of assets and debts

The most easily identifiable difference between a divorce and a legal separation is that in a legal separation the parties remain married, while in a divorce they do not. Reasons couples may decide to pursue a legal separation rather than a divorce often include financial and tax consequences, but may also include possibility of reconciliation.  Religious or moral values may also play a part in the decision to legally separate rather than file for divorce. Whatever the reason, an experienced family law attorney is needed to make sure the proper documents are prepared and filed. Our office has  combined experience of over 30 years helping people transition to the next phase of their lives. We are skilled in representing families and can help you determine what issues are most important to you when changing your family dynamic.

If you are considering divorce or legal separation, call an experienced Minnesota family lawyer for help. We help as your family moves from being under one roof to two. We offer compassionate and caring advice while always keeping your family’s best interests in mind.

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