What is a legal separation in divorce?
When a couple gets a legal separation, it is somewhat like a divorce. It involves the same process of filing papers with the court in order to start a legal action. The court will then have to make the decisions about where the children will reside, debts, and assets in a divorce. At the end of the entire process, the parties are legally separated instead of being actually divorced. This means that they are still married but not responsible for each other and what the other party does.
A legal separation is the best thing to do in the last stages of couples not being in agreement on important issues. It can be a way of taking a break and deciding individually what each party really wants. There is no reason to rush into receiving divorce for some people and it is a choice that has to be well thought out ahead of time just as the marriage should have been.
Sometimes when people are on a legal separation, they will try and work things out. But, there are some cases, where it will not work and in the end, the parties' involved want to get a divorce. One year after the legal separation is granted, one of the parties can petition to change the separation to a legal divorce. They can do this without any further hearings and the other party cannot prevent it from happening. As you can see, many people sometimes prefer the separation instead of a divorce because of their religious beliefs or for insurance reasons.
If the party wishes to terminate their marriage, they can then get a divorce. In order to do that, parties involved go to court and decide how to handle any questions with the children and how to divide their marital property. Each party is going to be responsible for one half of all marital debts.
Anything and everything that the couple bought while they were married is considered marital property. It does not matter whose name the property is in or who actually purchased it. Bank accounts, pensions, and stocks are all considered marital property even if they are held in one name only. Depending on the length of the marriage and what type of property it is, property brought into the marriage is still marital. The court will be as fair as possible and sometimes the parties involved will make their own right choices about how to really be fair in the divorce.
It is always a good thing when a couple can make their own best decisions about how things should be split up before they actually go to court. Both parties should have attorneys regardless of prior agreements between the couple. This will help things progress along without having to worry about any legalities. This is the best way to protect each party's assets and to make sure that the proceedings are fair.
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