Legal separation is an alternative to divorce that some couples find is the best option for their relationship.
When a couple begins the process of legal separation, they go through many of the same processes that couples who are divorcing do. These include making decisions for parenting plans, child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, debt distribution, and the division of finances and property.
While divorce and legal separation sound very similar, their one difference is that couples who choose legal separation are still legally married. Couples who choose legal separation can choose to stay legally separated for the foreseeable future, or they can choose to make the separation definite by filing for divorce. To convert a legal separation into divorce in Washington State, the divorce must be filled at least six months after the legal separation began.
Reasons to Legally Separate
A couple can have many different reasons for separating legally instead of divorcing. One example of a reason for legal separation is if a couple does not want to live married life together any longer, but they still want the benefits of marriage such as tax breaks, healthcare, immigration rights, and retirement. Another example is that a couple’s religious beliefs discourage divorce, so a legal separation is the best option for both people to be able to live independently.
At Sakaguchi & Reese, we are dedicated to assisting our clients in choosing the option that best suits their needs, whether it is legal separation or divorce. Through either process, we are here to educate and provide ongoing support.
contact our office if you wish to learn more about legal separation and whether or not it is your best option.