Danielsen Westhoff
Handling Family Law Matters Throughout the Greater Denver Metro Area
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Divorce and separation basics

When it comes to ending your marriage, you may have questions about the specifics of separation and divorce. For some people, separation is a precursor to the divorce that will eventually end their marriage. Legal separation, since it is less common, can sometimes be an issue that individuals have questions about.

Divorce, separation and family laws vary by state, so if you have recently moved to Colorado or if you are unfamiliar with the law, you may wish to consult an attorney. You can also look up the laws online or at the courthouse. Many resources are available for people who are inquisitive about dissolving their marriage.

Testing the waters

For many people, the first step towards ending the marriage involves the trial separation. A trial separation is not usually legally binding; it is a test period. The couple may choose to live apart and go their separate ways, but they remain married. Usually, any property acquired during the trial separation still falls under marital property, subject to the marital property laws of the state.

Getting some distance

Living separately is a part of trial and legal separation. Some states require a certain period of living apart, usually when filing a no-fault divorce, before granting the divorce. A couple's living arrangements can affect how the court views the property. In some other cases, whether the court considers an object as separate or marital property depends on whether one or both spouses bought it before or after the intent to end the marriage. Again, the specifics will vary by state.

Permanently apart

Permanent separation can come about once a couple decide they are going to separate for good. It is possible that a couple will have to file a document in the court. A couple still may need to make an agreement about certain shared expenses during the separation, like mortgage payments or child-care expenses. Debts that occur during this time are likely to be these types of necessary family expenses, and they are often treated as shared debts.

Every divorce case is different, just as every individual is different. Your needs, and the law of the land, will dictate the path your legal separation will take if the time comes to make that choice. Some people may find that they need help along the way, and commonly during times of divorce, a person will choose to contact a family law attorney.

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