If you want to live apart from your spouse but don’t want to go through with a full divorce, a legal separation provides the same financial and spousal support protections as a divorce without dissolving the marriage entirely. A legal separation attorney from Cotto Law Firm P.C. in Scottsdale, AZ, can help you decide if this is the right path for you and your spouse.
Legal Separation vs. Casual Separation
Legal separation is more complicated than casual separation because it involves entering court orders about the division of assets in addition to child and spousal support.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
Legal separation is a good fit for spouses who want to remain legally married for financial or religious reasons. For example, legally separated spouses can still file taxes jointly and are still considered married in the eyes of their church.
In a legal separation, the spouses maintain separate residences and can take other romantic partners. However, if either spouse chooses to remarry, they would first have to dissolve the current marriage through divorce. Because legal separation does not actually end a marriage, a spouse who remarries without divorce would be breaking laws that prohibit bigamy.
When a legally separated couple opts for divorce, the process is usually fairly simple because issues like asset division and spousal and child support have already been taken care of as part of the legal separation agreement.
On the other hand, if legally separated spouses end up getting back together, they do not need to get remarried to each other as a divorced couple would. They would simply need to request permission from the courts to resume the marriage and dissolve obligations such as spousal or child support.
To learn more about your legal options for separating from your spouse, reach out to one of our legal separation attorneys at (480) 429-3700. You can also drop us a line on our website.