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There are times when couples prefer to legally separate rather than divorce. This is the case when there are insurance benefits that one spouse needs because they cannot afford medical care otherwise. Or sometimes there are religious or spiritual reasons to remain married while living separately. There are also couples that wish to be legally apart, but they do not want to get divorced at all or not yet. Sometimes couples can work it out and sometimes they move forward with divorce.
If you wish to become legally separated, a Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin divorce attorney at our office can help you. The legal separation process can mimic a divorce in a number of ways and it does come with a cost, but it has its benefits as well. We will evaluate your unique situation and present you with the advice that you need to make decisions that are right for you.
It is important to understand the differences between separation and legal separation because there tends to be confusion between the two. A couple is able to separate at any time. This can simply be one spouse leaving the home, but that is not considered legal separation. At that time, any assets that were acquired during the marriage are still classified as marital assets and the same applies to any debts. Sometimes couples just need to cool down, resulting in them getting back together. Others will move on to divorce.
When a couple is legally separated, assets and debts acquired at that point are not considered marital assets. Legal separation is also an option that is used when one spouse may need to remain on the insurance of the other due to health problems they may be experiencing. However, there are many cases where legal separation eventually leads to divorce. What the couple decides to do depends on what they wish to achieve in the matter.
For legal separation to work, the other spouse has to agree with it. If they disagree, you and your Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin divorce lawyer will most likely need to move on with the divorce process. Divorce is typically the response to a disagreement to legal separation since divorce takes precedence over legal separation. So rather than the legal separation being granted, the court will grant a divorce since Minnesota and Wisconsin do not require both parties to consent to a divorce.
Nonetheless, there are many couples that wish to move forward with legal separation because they want to be able to have some of the benefits of a married couple. There are also cases where couples do not believe in divorce, but they don’t want to share assets acquired after the separation. The only pitfall is that couples do not have the finality that divorce gives them, but then some move forward with divorce anyway and others work out their relationships and end the legal separation.