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When someone files for divorce, they are filing to end a marriage. Separation, on the other hand, is simply filing to live apart from a spouse and attempt to either reconcile the marriage at the end of the separation OR potentially file for divorce if a reconciliation isn’t possible. The eventual outcome is the chief distinction between the two. With divorce, the outcome is a divorce decree. With a separation, the outcome is deciding what to do after the trial separation period where both partners live apart.
Lawyers are the people who can handle separation filing and the additional issues that must be sorted out after a separation is granted. Just like divorce, things must be legally sorted out for a separation to accomplish its goal. Ideally, both parties will have lawyers who represent their interests.
The issues that are common to divorce are also common to separation, although the divorce decree will settle things permanently while a separation is an ongoing arrangement that can often be negotiated. For example, both couples may agree to marriage counseling during the separation, but they may find that counseling is counterproductive to their lives and not going anywhere. So they may agree to end marriage counseling and move onto other more serious steps toward divorce.
Custody is another huge issue with separation. Just like in a pending divorce, both spouses must decide where their children will live during the separation, and they must decide how much, if any, child support and alimony payments will be paid during the separation. Mediation may also be needed during a separation just like in a divorce. Spousal support can be started during the separation agreement. There’s no reason to wait until a divorce is filed to begin sorting through married life and property together in case the marriage ends.
The sensitive emotional issues of divorce also haunt a separation, too. Couples will inevitably face many tough obstacles together and must work through them. Everything goes much more smoothly if a lawyer is present for both parties so that the judge has a clear idea of what’s in the interests of everyone involved in the case of a separation. The dependent spouse may need spousal support during the separation, just like after the divorce. This will be calculated in large part to how much income the dependent spouse gave up to support the marriage.
Our lawyers have combined decades of experience in every matter concerning divorce and separation. We’re capable of getting spousal support and child support payments calculated accurately. We’re capable of standing up in a courtroom for you and arguing for your interests until they’re met. We know that a divorce or separation is a very emotional time for everyone involved, and we handle each case with compassion and expertise aplenty.
If you’re struggling with a decision to separate right now and want to begin working toward a separation that will potentially reconcile your marriage, we’re here to take on your case. We’ll answer all of your questions during a free consultation and listen to your concerns and opinions about the direction you want your separation to go into. If you want us to get marriage counseling for you and your spouse, we can help you craft a separation agreement that will require at least basic marriage counseling. Call us today for a free consultation.