Posted on January 10, 2012 in Family Law
Q. My spouse has moved out of our marital home, is living with another person, and has suggested a trial legal separation. I am not sure I want a divorce. Is a legal separation a good idea?
A. You have to carefully decide what is best for you. If your spouse is refusing to cooperate in marriage counseling and has moved in with a new “significant other,” what is your likelihood of reconciliation? Often times during this “trial” period the other spouse may dissipate assets, incur new debts with a new family, and may forget to take care of your existing debts.
If you decide to go the route of trial separation, seek separation counseling to deal with the emotional aspects. But first talk to a lawyer about drafting a legal separation document that provides support, including insurance for you, support for your children, temporary property division, and co-parenting arrangements. I would also encourage you to pursue marriage counseling. If the spouse won’t cooperate in getting back together, pursue the divorce, and avoid the expense of two legal procedures.Legal separation is sometimes considered as an option before a divorce petition is filed. There are legal, emotional and financial issues to consisder before seeking legal separation.