i-legalseparationNot Quite Ready for Divorce — But “Over” Your Marriage

The act of divorcing your spouse can seem almost as frightening as the “divorce” word itself. It is so … final. There are people who for whatever reason do not want to continue with their marital relationship, but do not want to be “divorced.” There are options for people who are having issues with their marriage, but are not quite ready to be divorced.

Kyle Scoresby, with over 22 years of experience practicing family law, can help you to learn about the best options for you during what is certainly one of the most difficult and trying times in your life. He and his friendly and knowledgeable staff in North Scottsdale can help you to determine the best steps for you to take, whether that is filing for a legal separation or a dissolution of marriage. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.

Is Legal Separation the Appropriate Route for You?

In order to obtain a decree of legal separation, the marriage of the parties must be irretrievably broken OR the parties must desire to live separate and apart. Both parties must agree to the entry of a decree of legal separation. If one of the parties objects to the entry of the legal separation, the court will direct the pleadings to be amended to seek a dissolution of marriage.

There are various reasons that people file for a legal separation as opposed to a dissolution. Common reasons for filing a separation include, but are not limited to, religious reasons (the parties are opposed to divorce for religious reasons, but the marriage is clearly over); health or other benefits of marriage (the relationship is over, but if the parties divorce, one spouse will lose health or some other much needed benefit); and trial separations.

The Legal Separation Process

The process for obtaining a legal separation is essentially the same and resolves virtually all the same issues as a dissolution. The end result is that the marriage remains intact – the parties are simply legally separated rather than divorced. However, the decree of legal separation divides and terminates community property the same as a divorce decree. The court may award spousal maintenance. And if there are children involved, the court will make orders relating to child support/parenting time issues.

Why Separation?

Many individuals choose to file for legal separation because they mistakenly believe that a legal separation will be easier, faster and less expensive that a divorce. This is not the case since the paperwork is very similar, the same issues are addressed, and the legal process is relatively the same.

Some individuals choose the legal separation option as a “trial separation” period. They live separate and apart as though they are divorced, but leave open the possibility of a reconciliation. In situations such as this, it may be more efficient to simply separate informally or to make use of postnuptial agreement or other legal alternatives if the possibility of reconciliation is strong.

How Can We Help?

Scottsdale divorce and legal separation lawyer Kyle Scoresby has years of experience and knowledge in family law and can help you to determine what the best option is for you. Contact the North Scottsdale office today to discuss the various options that are available and determine if a legal separation is the right option for you.