Making the choice to end your marriage is not easy. If you made this choice, chances are you have already put significant thought into it, yet you may not feel prepared to head immediately into the divorce process. If you are ready for separate lives, but not quite ready for divorce, you may opt for legal separation.
Legal separation is not the right choice in every situation, but some spouses choose this route for unique family needs. In some circumstances, it is appropriate to move forward with drafting a legal separation agreement, but like other important family law choices, you would be wise to seek help first. It can help you learn more about all of your options before making any decision regarding divorce or separation.
Stay married, live separately
A legal separation allows a Colorado couple to live apart and legally separate finances but technically remain married. You may wonder why a couple would choose this option instead of filing for divorce. There are various scenarios when this is a logical, beneficial choice. Some of these include:
- You or your spouse has closely held religious beliefs preventing you from filing for divorce.
- It makes sense to remain married for a period so that you and your spouse can remain on the same health benefits plan.
- Staying married so that you can reach the mark of 10 years of marriage, meaning you will be eligible for certain Social Security benefits.
- It will allow you and your spouse to continue to file jointly on taxes.
Legal separation also allows you and your spouse to live separately while considering the many implications of divorce. Separation can give you plenty of space and time to work on the relationship, decide what you would want your divorce settlement to look like and determine if divorce is ultimately the right choice.
What’s in your separation agreement?
The terms of your separation agreement should address things like child custody, spousal support, who will remain in the family home and more. A strong separation agreement can actually be a starting point for a strong divorce order if you decide to move forward with that in the future.
A complete evaluation of your case can help you understand if legal separation is a smart choice for you, and if it is, how you can take steps that will protect your best interests.