LEGAL SEPARATION LAWYERS IN DENVER
Colorado Legal Separation Attorneys
Legal separation can be a confusing process. There are several things to consider when separating, and it can be difficult to come to fair terms with your spouse. Property, children, bills, and debt are just some of the things that you must take into account. At Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, we aim to make this process easier for you in any way we can. Here, we’ll answer some of your frequently asked questions about legal separation in the state of Colorado.
Legal Separation FAQs
What’s The Difference Between A Legal Separation And A Divorce?
A legal separation occurs when a couple wants to separate but is not quite ready to go through with a divorce. This may be because of religious or financial reasons. In some cases, couples may choose a separation over divorce to keep their health insurance coverage or other benefits. However, it could also be a temporary segue into a divorce.
A divorce means that the spouses are no longer married. It cannot be undone unless the couple remarries. Also, if a couple chooses to legally separate, they cannot marry another person unless they receive a divorce.
What Is A Trial Separation?
Trial separation differs from legal separation in that it doesn’t involve the court. It is more of an informal agreement between spouses. This may be a test run (hence, trial) to see how separating plays out between them. Because it is on the spouses’ own terms, legal documents are not involved in a trial separation. That means that any property acquired during this time is still considered marital property. From a trial separation, parties can choose whether they want to continue their relationship or move further into legal separation or divorce.
Does Separation Always Lead To Divorce?
Legal separation is not always an alternative to divorce. Sometimes, it is actually a step in that direction. But just because a couple chooses to separate does not mean that they will eventually divorce. In some cases, separation may show couples that they cannot live apart.
Separation is like stepping out of the door but leaving it cracked. You are free to step back inside with your significant other at any time. But you are also able to shut the door behind you and walk away. It is during this time where it’s left to you to decide which path you want to take.
Can Spouses Still Live Together While Legally Separated?
There is no rule or law that states that couples cannot remain living together during a separation. Spouses may choose to stay under the same roof because they share a family together or because they cannot afford to live alone.
Although, it may be tricky being separated while still trying to live together. It might negate the entire purpose of the separation. If a couple has the means to live apart during this time, that might be the best option. It can provide a much-needed mental and physical escape. Couples should use this time to reflect on the relationship and see how it feels to be apart. Sometimes, that space is necessary.
Depending on how well the two do living apart could determine whether they would like to get back together or move forward with a divorce.
What Does Legal Separation Cost?
To get a legal separation, you must file a petition with the court. The filing cost for this is generally a couple hundred dollars or more. The area in which you live plays a large role in how much you pay to file. The rest of the cost for legal separation is in lawyer fees.
If the separation is cooperative and the spouses can agree on terms, it may cost much less. If terms are not agreed upon and a mediator must step in, this can increase the amount.
Who Gets Child Custody During Separation?
It’s important to remember that the two filing for separation are not the only ones involved in this situation. A lot of the time, children are in the picture. It can be especially difficult for kids to witness their parent’s divorce or separation. That is why it is important to have proper custody arrangements in order.
If there is one primary caregiver, they should remain in the marital home. This can help children keep a sense of comfortability during this time. In a legal separation, the court will need to accept the custody plan. As long as the plan remains in the child’s best interest, the courts will usually honor it.
Can You Get Child Support During A Separation?
Yes, you can still get child support in the case of a legal separation. It is the parents’ responsibility to provide this support for their children. The courts will confirm an amount needed to support the child during the proceeding. If a caregiver requires support before the proceedings take place, they may be able to receive a temporary child support order from the judge. This will stay in place until the legal separation proceedings take place and the court orders a permanent amount in child support.