If you have been unhappy in your marriage for a while but the logistics of divorce are too overwhelming to even consider filing, you may be wondering if there are any other options. Fortunately, the state of Missouri also allows couples to file for legal separation, which does not actually dissolve a marriage but still allows spouses to go their separate ways.
Legal separation and dissolution share a few similarities, but they also have one major difference, and that is the fact that couples who pursue a legal separation are still technically married in the eyes of the law. There are several reasons why a couple might opt to take this route instead of simply filing for divorce, even if they are certain their marriage is irreparably broken.
There are also a few drawbacks of pursuing a legal separation, though, and it is important to consider all possible repercussions before you decide between separation and divorce. If your marriage is over but you are not sure how you want to end the relationship, contact Behrens Law Firm, LLC to discuss the options.
Barbara L. Behrens will help you avoid mistakes during the legal proceedings that would compromise your personal or financial interests. Call 314-499-6999 to schedule a consultation with a family attorney in St. Louis.
What Is a Legal Separation?
A legal separation is an arrangement that allows a couple to devise a visitation schedule and divide their assets without actually dissolving their marriage. Much like divorce, a legal separation requires a written agreement detailing the couple’s plans to proceed during and after the split.
Couples who simply decide not to live together anymore are not considered legally separated in the eyes of the law. In order to have a legitimate legal separation, you must draft and sign a separation agreement, which addresses everything from spousal maintenance to child custody.
Why Might a Couple Pursue a Legal Separation?
There are several potential advantages of choosing legal separation over divorce. For example, some couples take this route because they believe there is a chance they could actually reconcile someday.
In the state of Missouri, couples who have a legal separation in place can reconcile and restore their prior relationship with relative ease. Those who have divorced, on the other hand, cannot.
If the spouses believe they have irreconcilable differences, there are still a few other reasons to pursue legal separation. For example, if they are part of a religious sect that does not permit divorce, they do not have to worry about being ostracized by ending the relationship with legal separation.
There are also financial benefits of remaining married. Some couples may decide to stay together in the eyes of the law to retain their healthcare coverage or continue filing taxes jointly. They may also want to meet the minimum requirements for social security benefits or military benefits.
Regardless if you want to file for legal separation or dissolution, a St. Louis divorce lawyer can help. Turn to Behrens Law Firm, LLC to discuss your situation and determine the best way to proceed.
Call 314-499-6999 to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about filing for divorce in Missouri by visiting usattorneys.com/divorce/missouri.