Legal Separation

Mankato Family Law Attorney

When a couple decides that they do not yet want to be divorced, they may opt for legal separation. Legal separation gives them the legal protections of a divorce without the official termination of the marriage. They can divide assets and debts, divide property, and even make custody arrangements for the children with one spouse even paying child support. Alimony payments can also be arranged.

Property that is obtained by the parties during a legal separation is not classified as marital property. Debts incurred are also not considered marital debt. If the separation later leads to divorce, then those assets and debts are considered non-marital when separating the property. If a legal separation is what you want right now, your Southern Minnesota legal separation attorney can help you. The cost of legal separation is the same as a divorce and it does take the same amount of time.

Separation Vs. Legal Separation

There is confusion between separation and legal separation. A couple can separate at any time. This can involve one spouse simply leaving the home, but it is not a legal separation and that means any assets that are acquired are still considered marital assets and any debts are still considered marital debts. There are some cases in which the couples will get back together and there are some that will move toward divorce.

In a legal separation, the individuals want to make sure assets and debts are not counted as marital assets and debts during the separation. Legal separation is also an option when one spouse must remain on the insurance of the other because of health problems. In many cases, the legal separation does end in divorce. What the couple chooses depends on what they wish to accomplish.

Disagreement In Legal Separation

If the other spouse disagrees with the legal separation, you and your Mankato legal separation lawyer may have to move forward with the divorce process. The reason is because the usual response to a disagreement to legal separation is divorce. Divorce will take precedence over separation, causing the court to grant the divorce instead.

Nonetheless, many couples choose legal separation because they want to keep some of the benefits of being married. They may also not believe in divorce and wish to stay true to their values. The downfall is that the couple does not have the finality that a divorce can give them and the legal separation could be ended with a divorce if one of the parties chooses the divorce. If that’s the case, you will need to consult with your attorney to help you through the process.

Southern Minnesota Divorce Lawyer

Before divorce, a couple may become legally separated. This means they are still married, but they do not live together. The rights and responsibilities that come out of a marriage are also terminated. From there, either the husband or wife can petition for a divorce. If you need to legally separate from your spouse, Birkholz Law, LLC can help you. To learn more, call the Mankato office at 507-387-2100, the St. James office at 507-375-3374, or the Westbrook office at 507-274-6501 to schedule a free consultation.