Steps Required To Become Legally Separated

Are you in a marriage that is very miserable, dysfunctional, or full of fighting? If so, you may want to talk to a lawyer about separating from your spouse for a while. To do this the legal way, you would need to go through the steps of the process of legal separation, and here are a few things to know about this process.

Step 1: Understand what it is

To become legally separated, you are not completely severing the marriage. Legal separation is a legal tool, but is not the same as divorce. Using legal separation is a great way to have a legal split-up for your marriage without permanently ending it. Using it will require going to court and hiring a lawyer, but it is often the best way to separate when you both just need some time apart.

Step 2: File the Documents

If you decide that this is the best option for you and for your marriage at this time, you should contact a law firm that offers divorce and legal separation services. A lawyer can help you fill out the necessary documents and will file the petition in court for you. This petition is what initiates the process of your marriage separation, and you must start the process through this petition.

Step 3: Decide What You Want

The next step is going to involve determining a plan for what you want through the separation. Do you plan to continue living in the home and have your spouse move out? Do you want the children to continue living with you in the home? Do you want your spouse to pay the mortgage on the house during the separation period? These are some of the things you should think about and fight for. You will get to create an agreement for the separation that contains things like this, so you should work on determining a plan.

Step 4: Go to Court

After you file the petition, you will both need to attend a hearing in court for this matter. This hearing gives you both a chance to state what you want with the agreement and settle the matter. If the judge approves it, the agreement becomes binding, and both of you must follow it.

These are the basic things you will need to do if you decide that legal separation is right for your situation. If you would like more information or to begin working on it, talk to a divorce lawyer today.