Thursday, March 28, 2013

What about an uncontested legal separation?

Divorce vs. Legal Separation

Potential clients often inquire about legal separations - mostly uncontested legal separations - and I find that the main misconception about the legal separation is that it will somehow be an "easier" case to file and get through the courts.

The fact of the matter is, however, all issues that must be ironed out in a dissolution case must also be ironed out in a legal separation case.  The end result are is different, of course, at the conclusion of a dissolution case you're divorced, where at the end of a legal separation case you are not.  The issues that must be decided on are basically the same though - property distribution, debt allocation, child custody, child support, etc.

So why do people get legal separations?  Some people genuinely believe the marriage can possibly be saved and that a little time apart - legally and otherwise - may help, while many choose legal separations for insurance purposes.  A legal separation will likely not cause any issues or disruptions in health insurance coverage provided by the spouse, compared to post-dissolution, where an individual will almost certainly not be able to stay on their ex-spouse's health insurance plan.  Both statements are generalities, of course, and you should speak with your company's HR department as to the affect legal separation and dissolutions have on your particular plan's coverage of spouses (and ex-spouses).

Uncontested legal separations can be done as quickly and efficiently as uncontested dissolution cases.  Please feel free to contact me with any follow-up questions you may have.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Gerald W. Linnenbringer, Missouri Uncontested Divorce Attorney