What Is Legal Separation And Is It Right For You?

Ending a marriage is never easy, even under the best circumstances. But some couples face obstacles — logistical, cultural and financial — that make getting a divorce significantly more difficult or practically impossible. When faced with such obstacles, legal separation can serve as an important alternative to divorce.

At Oney + Kim Family Law, PLLC, our Eagan family law attorneys can help you assess your situation and determine if a legal separation is right for your circumstances.

Who Is A Legal Separation A Good Option?

In the state of Minnesota, couples must live in the state for six months before they are eligible to file for divorce. Couples who have not lived in Minnesota for the past six months may not be eligible to file for divorce in this state. Instead, they may choose to file for legal separation as a means and path toward divorce. Once their legal separation has been filed, and they meet the eligibility requirement for residence, the couple could convert their action for a separation into a divorce.

Sometimes, couples have a moral issue with divorce. This could be because of religious beliefs or other personal reasons. A legal separation could also preserve a spouse’s eligibility for financial support or health insurance coverage when a divorce action may cause a termination of coverage. In this case, a legal separation might be a good alternative to divorce.

Whatever your reasons for considering a legal separation instead of a divorce, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you evaluate all of your options so that you can make an informed decision as to how to proceed.

Reaching Formal Decisions In A Separation Agreement

In a legal action for a separation, decisions related to splitting up the household, assets and debts are treated similarly to divorce. In addition, if there are children involved, issues related to the children have to be decided as well. Often, a couple will attempt to reach an agreement on these issues. A separation agreement can address:

In a legal action for separation, if the parties cannot agree on all of the relevant issues, the court will treat the proceedings in the same manner as a divorce case. The judge will consider the best interests of the children in order to determine child custody and parenting time schedules. In many cases, couples find mediation helpful for resolving disputes to reach agreements on these important issues. An experienced divorce lawyer can represent you in a legal separation in the same way as a divorce case.

Schedule A Free Consultation With A Legal Separation Attorney

Our skilled divorce attorneys at Oney + Kim Family Law, PLLC, offer free initial consultations. They can help you determine what options might be available for your specific circumstances. To schedule your free appointment, call our Eagan office at 612-279-8655 or send us an email.