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A legal separation is when a married couple separates and seeks a court order for issues regarding the children, child support and maintenance, but does not file for a divorce.
Legal separation is often a prequel to divorce, but it does not automatically lead to that end result. If the future of your marriage is uncertain you should discuss the option of legal separation with a knowledgeable divorce attorney. Couples are still legally married in a legal separation, but are allowed to live apart and have the ability to manage their own property, assets, and debts. If children are involved, the couple must still go through the same legal processes to determine child custody, visitation, child support and alimony.
When a couple seeks a legal separation rather than a divorce, it could be for a variety of reasons. For example, in some cultures divorce is not an acceptable option for individuals once they have been married. In these cases, where cultural concerns govern your available actions, legal separation may be a more acceptable option. Other individuals separate because divorce does not coincide with their religious views or the views of their family. Often times, spouses may simply be undecided or unsure about the finality of divorce and elect to explore separation for a period of time as they contemplate their next step. Whatever the reason for choosing a legal separation, the attorneys at Stoorman, Hanson & van der Valk, P.C. can assist you in navigating this process and will ensure that everything is filed correctly and on time.
Couples that wish to pursue divorce after filing for legal separation often experience more expeditious legal proceedings due to the fact that they have already negotiated a separation agreement.
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