Legal Separation vs. Divorce: which one is right for you?
Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. A legal separation does not legally end the marriage, but rather allows a couple to spend time apart to see if they want to continue with their marriage or convert the legal separation to a divorce. Couples seeking to spend time apart can file a petition for legal separation. Legal separation is a court order that mandates the rights, responsibilities and duties of a couple regarding property, assets, debt and children while they live apart. Some couples spend a few months working things out and remain married and other couples go on to convert their separation to a divorce. The parties must wait a minimum of one year before they can convert a decree of legal separation to a divorce.
Some couples also file for a legal separation rather than a divorce, even if they are not considering reconciliation, to allow one of the spouses to have continued access to privileges or rights extended under marriage. This is most often seen in relation to continuation of coverage on a spouse's health insurance. Individuals who are deciding between a divorce and a legal separation should always consult with an attorney to determine what the best option is in their specific case.
Should You Stay Married?
A legal separation is a cooling off period for couples so they can determine their next course of action. Once the legal separation has been granted it is up to the couple to determine the length of the separation. After the course of 1 year, the couple may determine if they will remain married or convert their separation to a divorce. Your attorney in Kentucky will help you file the necessary petition and motions as they are needed.
Kentucky Divorce Law and Living Apart
In the state of Kentucky, couples seeking to file for decree of divorce must live apart for 60 days. This may include time they live under the same roof without having sexual relations. During this temporary separation, they may also choose to file a petition for legal separation. Your Kentucky attorney can help you determine if this would be a benefit to you and your family.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce: Which One Is Right For You?
A legal separation is a temporary measure to give you and your spouse time to decide what you want to do. The court will determine what duties and rights you and your spouse will have during the separation. They may include:
- Separation Maintenance: separation maintenance is similar to divorce maintenance (alimony) and child support. The purpose is to maintain the family's standard of living during the separation.
- Child Custody: the court in legal separation determines child custody and child visitation. If you are seeking child custody or a restraining order a motion must be filed with the court to be upheld.
- Property Division: Marital property is considered anything you owned jointly before the separation. In Kentucky this is divided the same as in a divorce. Property and debt incurred during the separation is not considered marital property if Dissolution of Marriage is later filed.
If you are facing a divorce or any family law issue, Durrett and Kersting Law, PLLC can help. We offer confidential comprehensive resolutions and mediation that will benefit you and your family. At Durrett and Kersting Law, PLLC you will find an experienced, qualified divorce lawyer for women in Louisville, KY. Call today for a confidential consultation.
Your attorney at Durrett and Kersting Law, PLLC will be happy to discuss your situation and help you determine what is right for you and what is best for your family. Call today to schedule a convenient time for a consultation.