What is a legal separation in divorce?
When a couple gets a legal separation, it is somewhat like a divorce. It involves the same process of filing papers with the court in order to start a legal action. The court will then have to make the decisions about where the children will go, debts, and assets in a divorce. At the end of the process, the parties are legally separated instead of being actually divorced. This means that they are still married but not responsible for each other and what the other party does.
Generally a legal separation comes about in the final stages of a couple's arguments or issues in getting along. It can be a way of taking a short break and finding out what each party wants our of the relationship. For some people, there is no reason to rush into getting divorce because it is a decision that has to be well thought out just as the marriage should have been.
At times, when people are on a legal separation, they will attempt to work things out. However, there are some times where it will not work and the parties' involved make the decision to get a divorce. So no less than one year after the legal separation is granted, one of the parties can petition to convert the separation to a divorce. This can be done without further hearings and the other party cannot prevent it from happening. People will sometimes prefer the separation instead of a divorce because of certain religious beliefs or for insurance purposes.
If the party does decide to get a divorce, it will completely terminate their marriage. In order to do that, parties at hand will go to court and make decisions on how to handle questions of the children and how to divide their marital property. Each party is would be held accountable for one half of the marital debts.
Anything and everything that the couple bought while they were married is considered marital property. It does not matter whose name the object at hand is in or who actually purchased it. Bank accounts, pensions, and stocks are all marital property even if they are held in one name only. Depending on the length of the marriage and what type of property it is, property brought into the marriage is still considered marital. The court will be as fair as possible and sometimes the parties involved will make their own right choices about being fair in the divorce.
It is always a good thing when a couple can make their own best decisions about how things should be split up before they actually go to court. Both parties should have attorneys regardless of prior decisions made between the couple. This will help things progress along without having to worry about any legalities. This is the best way to protect each party's assets and to make sure that the proceedings are fair.
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