Divorce vs. Legal Separation
There are more similarities than differences between divorce and legal separation. Here are the differences between a legal separation and a divorce:
- In legal separation, the spouses are still technically married but are living as individual persons free from any financial obligations from the other spouse
- If there is no written agreement, spouses who are legally separated retain their inheritance rights
- In legal separation, spouses may maintain health care benefits, social security benefits, requirement-related benefits
- Since spouses who are legally separated are still technically married, couples who have certain religious and moral beliefs avoid the social stigma of divorce
- One disadvantage of legal separation, however, is the inability of each spouse to remarry
Couples who are opting for legal separation because they think that the process is easier will be disappointed as both decrees ask for the same filing, paperwork, and service requirements. Why? Common issues in divorce such as child custody and child support agreements, the division of assets and debts, and spousal maintenance also need to be tackled when seeking legal separation.
There are a variety of reasons why someone may desire a legal separation as apposed to a divorce or dissolution of marriage. For example, the parties may want to live in separate households without legally ending their marriage due to religious obligations or societal concerns. Another reason for legal separation, as opposed to divorce, is that the parties may simply not be ready to officially end their marriage.
Converting a Lеgаl Separation tо a Dіvоrсе
Either party to a legal separation proceeding or separation agreement in Colorado may petition the court to convert the legal separation into a divorce or marriage dissolution. A separation agreement without a judgement of legal separation can also become the basis for the settlement of the child custody, parenting, and financial issues in a subsequent action for a divorce or marriage dissolution.
If a divorce or perhaps a custody battle is in your near future, it is expected that you may be feeling fearful, uncertain, and completely overwhelmed. You do not have to face these struggles alone. A divorce and legal separation lawyer in Denver/Parker, CO can help.
Do I Nееd A Colorado Family Lаwуеr?
You are fully entitled to represent yourself in a divorce, which is referred to as a “pro se divorce.” It is not, however, at all advisable that you do so. Even if you and your spouse are on good terms and are capable of maintaining amicable relations, you must realize that the divorce process in Colorado is highly complex, and you could easily end up with a final decree of dissolution that does not favor your best interests. If, like most divorcing couples, you and your spouse do not get along, then it becomes even more important for you to have a Colorado divorce attorney represent you through the entire process and fight to defend your personal interests in areas like:
- Child’ѕ Bеѕt Intereѕt
- Divorce Process
- Child Support
- Child Custody
- Legal Separation
- Spousal Support
- Relocation of the children
- Domestic Abuse
Find out more about your best options for resolving your divorce by meeting with a Colorado family lawyer for an initial consultation. Call or email our law office for more information today.