How do I know if separation is right for me?

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you have more than one option. Many spouses opt to file for divorce, which effectively terminates the marriage.

If, however, you are not sure whether you want to permanently end your romantic relationship with your partner, you may want to consider legal separation. Separation is an excellent option for couples that do not yet know whether they want to terminate their marriage.

When to consider separation

Legal separation is not for everyone. It may be a good option for you if:

  • You want to try living separately
  • You can’t decide whether you want a divorce
  • You are not ready to permanently end the marriage
  • You or your spouse needs the other’s health insurance
  • You or your spouse needs the other’s military benefits

Ultimately, no one except you and your partner can decide whether you remain together, file for separation or file for divorce. It would be wise to speak to an attorney who has provided counsel to other Colorado spouses regarding separation and divorce.

Filing for separation

Filing for legal separation is similar to filing for divorce. You must file a petition with the courthouse in your district. To petition for separation, you or your spouse must have resided in Colorado for at least 91 days. You must provide a reason for the split, but, because Colorado is a no-fault state, you will not need to prove this reason to the court. After you file your petition, the court will impose a three-month waiting period before it acts on your case.

Although the legal process for separation is fairly straightforward, this does not necessarily mean that your separation will be simple. Many complications can arise, from delays to administrative errors to a spouse disagreeing to certain arrangements. Nevertheless, separation can offer you a way out of your marriage and help you decide whether you should divorce.

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