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The role of separation in family law

Divorce is a huge step in anyone's life. The spouses that decide it is time to legally end their marriage need to fully consider the gravity of their decision before making it. Once they are comfortable with their position and they understand the next steps, filing for divorce can be a little easier.

However, that transition from "potentially filing" to "definitely filing" can be a complicated time. How do spouses reach such a difficult decision? One legal tool that can help spouses that are considering divorce is separation.

A legal separation can be done on a trial basis, allowing the two spouses to live separately as they come to terms with living their lives as individuals. Separation can even involve many of the aspects that you would associate with divorce: spousal support, property division, child custody and child visitation, to name a few. 

Separation can begin on a trial basis, and then transition to a more permanent basis late on if the spouses agree to it. Ultimately, if the two spouses believe their lives are better while being separate, then the legal separation can transition to a divorce.

At each interval, the spouses need to make some important decisions about their situation and their family's. Separation is a big step, and you shouldn't make a decision in regards to separation without legal counsel. With so much at stake, it behooves you to have an experienced attorney on your side during this critical time in your life.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal Separation vs. Divorce," Accessed May 3, 2017

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