Legal separation is a situation in which a husband and wife lives separately, but are still legally married. Separation is an attractive option for some because of potential insurance and tax benefits, or because one’s religion does not allow divorce.
To obtain a legal separation, you will need to file a petition for legal separation with the court. The court will only grant such a petition under specific circumstances, such as:
- One spouse neglects or refuses to provide for the needs of the other and has the means to do so
- One spouse deserts the other without good reason
- One spouse has been in prison for more than a year and does not provide for the other
- Spouses live apart for a long period of time
Like divorce, when a couple legally separates, the court enters orders regarding child custody, division of assets, parent time (visitation), spousal maintenance (alimony), etc. These orders are contained in the decree of legal separation, and the decree lasts as long as the parties are legally separated. If a couple decides to divorce after obtaining a legal separation, they must file a separate action for divorce. Many times the orders contained in the decree of legal separation become part of the divorce decree.
If you need a legal separation, contact Brown Family Law.
At Brown Family Law, our experienced attorneys will help you obtain a legal separation. Whether you have agreed with your spouse on the terms of the separation, or need one because your spouse has abandoned you, we will help you through the process. Contact us online or call 801-685-9999 to schedule a divorce consultation.