Danielsen Westhoff, PC

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Legal separation or divorce - which makes sense for my situation?

When trying to decide if ending your marriage is the right thing to do, there are a lot of things to take into consideration first. Going through the divorce process can be difficult, and rushing into it or through it could prove costly.

There are couples in Colorado who may feel unsure if the dissolution of marriage is actually the right choice for them. Not everyone is ready to pull the trigger on divorce. Instead, there are those who simply want to separate, allowing them to keep certain advantages of being married while also enjoying divorce-like legal clarity. If either of these situations applies to you, legal separation, not divorce, may be in your best interest.

What is a legal separation?

Anyone can separate from his or her spouse. That does not necessarily require a court order or approval. However, if you wish to have certain obligations or rights enforced by the state, you will have to officially file for a legal separation.

A legal separation simply is a court approved separation. Benefits of filing for a legal separation include:

  • Keeping marital financial benefits
  • Setting up child custody arrangements
  • Setting up support payments
  • Legally dividing property
  • Enforcement of all of the above

At the end of the day, filing for a legal separation is much like filing for divorce. The process and many of the final benefits are the same. The biggest difference is, in divorce, the marriage is considered done while, with legal separation, the marriage continues until dissolution or

reconciliation occurs.

Why choose divorce?

While there are good reasons to choose legal separation instead of divorce, there are also reasons as to why pursing a divorce rather than a separation may be in your best interest. Legal separation, in many cases, simply prolongs the divorce process and increases the total cost of

getting it done.

Seek legal guidance

Choosing whether to live apart or file for the dissolution of marriage is a very personal decision. If you find yourself on the fence between legal separation and divorce, an experienced family law attorney can help you weigh your options and assist you in taking the action deemed best for your specific situation. Regardless of your choice, with the assistance of legal counsel, it is possible to create fair and balanced settlement terms that are in line with the laws of Colorado.

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