Is legal separation right for you in the event of a marital conflict? This can be a difficult question to answer. Legal separation may be suitable for some married couples facing relationship difficulties, but may be totally inappropriate for others. Only you and your spouse can properly answer that question. Regardless, the process can be as complicated as that of a divorce, so it’s critical that you have an experienced Chandler legal separation attorney by your side.
Definition of legal separation
You may be wondering: “Is this what happens when one of us moves out of the house?” No. That is physical separation, which has relevance in cases involving legal separation, divorce, and even unmarried partner or child custody proceedings, but is not itself a legal separation.
To legally separate, you or your spouse, or both of you jointly, must file a document with a court asking to be declared legally separated. This legal status gives both of you a time-out to decide what you want to do next: either get back together romantically, or get divorced.
In a legal separation, you get a decree. But do not misunderstand: This is not a decree of marital dissolution. It is a declaration of a temporary legal status that typically lasts for a year but can be shorter or longer depending on the actions and decisions of you and your spouse.