Legal Separation

In a divorce or “dissolution of marriage,” the former couple has legally ended their marriage. All matters have been agreed upon by the court and each former spouse is now legally single. In a legal separation your marriage is not legally dissolved or ended. Being legally separated and not divorced does not give either partner the right to marry another. It does allow you to live separately, having worked out and agreed upon all important issues, just as you would in divorce proceedings.

Marriages involve matters that are private and specific to those individuals. There can be many reasons why separation can be correct for one couple while divorce is desired by others. At times, religious reasons may decide a preference for separation. It may be that both partners do not want to remarry. A spouse or partner can have an important medical issue that will be handled by Social Security benefits once the couple has been married for a certain length of time. A knowledgeable Terre Haute family law attorney can work with you in deciding the best course of action for your individual situation.

ISSUES ADDRESSED IN A LEGAL SEPARATION

You may determine a need to execute an agreement for child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance during your legal separation depending on your specific situation. If this is the case, it is important for you to seek the advice of an experienced Terre Haute family law attorney who can advise you of your legal rights.

HOW LONG CAN A LEGAL SEPARATION LAST?

A legal separation in Indiana can last for a maximum of 12 months and is not required in order for a couple to seek a divorce. At any point during the legal separation, a couple can choose to end the separation and continue the marriage or file for divorce-there is no need to wait 12 months to make a decision.

During the legal separation, a couple is still considered married by the state of Indiana. This means that the spouse is still eligible for life and health insurance benefits under the other’s plan. It also means that both spouses are responsible for the marital debts, which would not be the case in a divorce. You may want to seek legal counsel with aTerre Haute divorce lawyer.