When you are contemplating an end to your marriage, you may consider your options of divorce versus legal separation. One main difference between the two options is that a judgment for legal separation will not terminate your marital status. Legal separation separates you from your spouse as does divorce, but you remain legally married.
You may not be emotionally or financially ready to take the official step towards a divorce, but would like to open a case with the court for one or more of the following reasons:
  1. You want to formally establish your date of separation, in the form of documents filed with the court, based on a concern, for example, regarding the length of your spousal support obligation.
  2. You do not yet meet the residency requirement to file for a divorce, but wish to obtain temporary orders for child custody, visitation and/or support in the interim.
  3. You do not want to extend the 6-month waiting period to obtain a divorce by first waiting until you meet the residency requirement before you file documents with the court.
If you have not met the residency requirement to file for a divorce, you can file a petition for legal separation instead. Then, once you meet the residency requirement, you can amend your petition to request a divorce. There are rules that apply to amending your petition for legal separation (or divorce). We can educate you about the requirements and guide you through the process.
For more information about your options, contact us for a free phone consultation.