What You Need to Know About Legally Separating Before Divorce

Many of our clients ask us if legally separating before divorce will impact their settlement. In this blog, we answer this question and tell you what you need to know about legal separation before divorce.

What Is Legal Separation?

A legal separation is a court order that dictates the rights and responsibilities of married spouses who have decided they want to live separate lives. While all other issues and disputes in the marriage are settled in the Separation Agreement, the separated couple is still legally married. Although separation is usually one of the first steps toward a divorce, it is not the same thing as an official divorce, nor does it necessarily have to end with the couple choosing to remain divorced.

A couple can choose to get a legal separation for a number of reasons, including:

  • Figuring out temporary financial and custodial arrangements for the family before filing for divorce.
  • Religious/moral objections to divorce that make separation a better alternative than divorce.
  • Wanting a “cooling-off period” in order to have to chance to reconcile at a later time.

Some states require a couple to be legally separated before they can go through with a divorce, while in other states, separation is a mere formality before divorce. The period of legal separation before a couple gets divorced can last up to 2 years, or it can be waived as early as 6 months if both parties agree to waive the separation requirement. You should consult with an attorney to find out if you need to file for a separation before a divorce that can take a long time to settle.

At Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C., our skilled team of attorneys have more than 35 years of combined legal experience. We can review your case and help you determine if legal separation or divorce is the right option for you. Let us use our resources to protect your rights and ensure you reach a fair settlement.

Contact our Madison family law lawyersto discuss what legal actions you should take.