Q: What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?
Answer: Legal separation allows a couple to live apart but remain legally married, while divorce terminates the marriage completely.
Q: Why would someone choose legal separation over divorce?
Answer: There are various reasons including religious beliefs, financial considerations, retaining certain benefits (like insurance), or as a trial period before divorce.
Q: Are there residency requirements for filing legal separation?
Answer: Yes, many states and jurisdictions have specific residency requirements that need to be met before filing for legal separation.
Q: Can I date other people during a legal separation?
Answer: While legally possible, dating during legal separation may have implications on matters like alimony, child custody, or property division, depending on local laws and any separation agreement in place.
Q: Do we need to live at different addresses to file for legal separation?
Answer: Not necessarily. Legal separation is about your marital status, not your living situation. However, some jurisdictions might have specific stipulations about living arrangements.
Q: How long does the legal separation process take?
Answer: The duration varies by jurisdiction and the complexity of the case. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
Q: Does legal separation affect child custody or support?
Answer: Yes. Just like with a divorce, issues of child custody, visitation, and support need to be addressed during a legal separation.
Q: Can we revert a legal separation?
Answer: Yes, a legal separation can often be reversed if both parties agree. This typically involves filing a request with the court.
Q: Will our assets be divided in a legal separation?
Answer: Typically, yes. The division of assets and debts is usually part of the legal separation process, similar to a divorce.
Q: Do I need a lawyer to file for legal separation?
Answer: While it’s possible to file on your own, it’s wise to consult an attorney to ensure your rights are protected and the paperwork is correctly filed.
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