Legal Separation

Many clients are initially uncertain about the difference between a legal separation and a divorce. Bezler Law Firm represents clients seeking a legal separation as well as those who prefer to obtain a divorce. With a divorce, you are no longer married to your spouse. A legal separation allows you to remain married but live apart from your spouse. Most importantly, legal separations allow you to obtain certain conditions ordered by the court just the same as with a divorce.

For those seeking a legal separation, Bezler Law Firm protects and thoroughly informs its clients. We see to it that your legal separation issues are properly addressed including: division of assets and debts, custody, child support, visitation schedules and spousal support (alimony). With a legal separation, a petition must be filed in family court in the same county where you or your spouse currently live.

Advantages of a Legal Separation

  • Gives couples time apart from each other to assess whether a divorce is truly the best course
  • Offers each spouse time to adjust to the unique demands of a single person
  • Allows the continuation of medical and other benefits that will be discontinued once a divorce occurs
  • Allows you to remain married to fulfill religious or moral beliefs yet gives you the option to live apart
  • Allows military spouses to remain married for a minimum of 10 years in order to take advantage of military benefits offered under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act
  • Allows you to remain married for 10 years or more so that you qualify to obtain your spouse’s social security benefits
  • Gives you the opportunity to convert the legal separation agreement into a divorce settlement agreement should you and your spouse so choose
  • Does not require a “standard of proof” as with a divorce where one party needs to prove the marriage is “irretrievably broken”

Additional Conditions Concerning Legal Separation

In certain situations, legal separation rather than divorce can be a better option for couples experiencing marital discord. Bezler Law Firm makes clients aware of the different advantages and disadvantages of legal separation. One advantage is that once terms of a legal separation are made by court order, a judge is more likely to follow those terms should divorce later become a reality. On the other hand, a potential disadvantage to legal separation is that it can take as long as a divorce and costs are often similar.