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Questions about Divorce and Legal Separation

Legal separation and divorce are not the same. In most cases, filing for a legal separations certificate or a marriage separation can be an easier alternative than filing for a divorce. The difference between divorce and legal separation can be confusing, especially when couples are already facing problems in their marriage. Legal separation laws differ from state to state, but the Experts on JustAnswer can help answer any questions you may have. Below are five of the top legal separation questions that are often asked on the site.

What is a Legal Separation?

Legal separations are when a married couple can legally separate and live in different homes without ending their marriage. In most cases, filing for a legal separation makes it easier to divide assets and also helps the final divorce run smoothly. This is also a time during which, if the two parties are trying to reconcile the marriage, they may have time away to reconsider or to get their thoughts and actions in order. If you have any questions about legal separation laws or need an expert’s opinion on marriage separation, ask Lawyers on JustAnswer for quick, effective and affordable answers.

Is There a Difference Between Legal Separation and Just a Separation?

Legal separation, divorce and separation are legal terms that refer to the changes in the status of your marriage. Legal separations are also referred to as judicial separations. These are filed within the court, and a separation certificate is granted. However, couples may decide to separate and not file for a legal separation. If couples mutually agree to separate and live in separate homes, this also qualifies as a separation, though not a legal separation. Unless it is filed with the court, the separation usually has no legal standing and may not be recognized by the court. If you are facing a separation and are unsure of the legalities and legal implications of your course of action, you can ask Lawyers on JustAnswer and have your questions answered.

When Legally Separated, How Long are you Required to Keep the Spouse’s Belongings?

The legal separation agreement usually determines how long, if at all, you are required to keep the other party’s personal belongings. If it hasn’t been resolved in your legal separation agreement, you should get a clarification and set an official date until when the belongings of the spouse need to be kept. However, each relationship is different, and there could be nuances that may be complicating your situation. You can seek answers to your specific situation and questions by ask Lawyers on JustAnswer. The Experts are verified lawyers, and you can get fast, efficient and affordable answers to your marriage and legal separation questions.

When Filing for Bankruptcy, Do We Tell Them We are Legally Separated?

Anytime you file a bankruptcy claim, regardless of whether you are single, married or divorced, you need to be completely honest with the court. Since different states have different legal separation laws, your marital situation and the income of each spouse can have an impact on your bankruptcy claim. If you have further questions about these separation laws, the Experts on JustAnswer will be glad to point you in the right direction.

When Filing for a Legal Separation, How do I Protect Myself and My Child Financially?

When filing a legal separation, you may also file a spousal maintenance for yourself, as well as child support for your child/children. You will need to make sure to file for these in the legal separation itself to ensure that the maintenance is properly documented and filed with the court. Many states have different laws on who will qualify for spousal maintenance and will take different protocols and qualifiers into consideration. If you are not sure how your state handles legal separations and spousal support, feel free to ask Lawyers on JustAnswer.

Separation can have many stressful legal implications. Making sure you’re on the right side of the law while safeguarding your own interests and those of your child can lead to many questions. Experts on JustAnswer regularly answer questions on legal separation and can provide useful insights quickly and affordably.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9149
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
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Recent Legal Separation Questions

  • My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years. We

    My husband and I have been married for almost 12 years. We are married ANC with accrual and have certain exclusions in our ANC contract. Both assets were set to Nil at the start of the marriage and the exclusions are: 1. There shall be no community of profit and loss between them 2. Rights to any benefits accruing from any provident funds / retirement annuities and pensions held in our respective names; and 3. The right to any title or interest by either party in any future business / company of any nature.
    And that's it, a pretty simple straightforward 3 page contract. Unfortunately now we are possibly looking at divorce due to irreconcilable differences. Our current situation is that I have just stopped working / bringing in an income - this was a mutual agreement for me to be a "stay-at-home" mom. I therefore no longer have an income and am dependent on my husband's income which is generated through his own business. We have two children together, aged 5 & 6 years old. I would like to know: If my husband is asking for the divorce, what am I entitled to - from two perspectives: 1. Financial support and most importantly 2. Custody of the children. I am concerned that now because I am no longer working that a court will no longer grant custody to me, even if it could be proven that I am the primary caregiver and that my husband will not have the capacity / time to care for the children on a full-time basis. Both children are in private schools and we live a higher than average lifestyle. We have a relatively high household income even with my income now being cut out to be a stay at home mother. What happens to stay-at-home mothers who get divorced and who were dependent on their husband's income to survive and care for the children?
    Lastly, I would like to know what the law is surrounding a legal separation - is there such a thing? Is this an option before going through the divorce route? And if so, what are my husband's obligations re: financial support during the separation?
  • When researching cases for supporting one's legal case, is

    When researching cases for supporting one's legal case, is it better to use appellate cases over lower court decisions in making one's argument for judgement? It would seem better if there are cases that support one's position.
  • I'd like to know if I'm entitled to acquire my half share of

    I'd like to know if I'm entitled to acquire my half share of community properties, including cash、monetary investment、real estate, etc. while still IN the marriage? Does my spouse violate my legal right to obtain it if he refused to give me my half now? Do I have the right to sell those monetary assets (e.g. stock/mutual fund/annuity...) which are mostly under my husband's name only and he purchased those without my consent/awareness? I want to sell them to get my half share though we are still married.
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