For married couples in Highlands Ranch whose relationship is no longer working but for whom divorce is not an option, legal separation could be the right alternative.
In a way, legal separation can give you the best of both worlds. It gives you most of the same parental and financial protections as divorce while allowing you and your spouse to stay married. Whatever your reasons for wanting to stay married, at least legally, you can separate without having to worry if your spouse will suddenly stop letting you see your children without any legal recourse. It also gives you the option of reconciling or getting divorced someday or maintaining the status quo for as long as you and your spouse want.
That is because the process of legal separation is almost identical to divorce. The spouses negotiate matters like property division, child custody and child support. If they cannot reach an agreement, they and their attorneys go before a family court judge, who will issue a ruling. Once all matters are determined, the judge issues a legally enforceable order, and the separation is finalized.
The major difference between divorce and separation relates to the right to remarry. As long as you are legally separated, you and your spouse are still legally married. Neither of you can marry anyone else. Some people are comfortable with this arrangement, but others may wish to change their marital status to divorced so that they can begin a new marriage. Once you are legally separated, you can usually transition to divorce fairly quickly since you have already worked everything out during your separation negotiations.
Legal separation may not be right for you, but it pays to know all your options. Consulting a divorce attorney can help you prepare for the next phase of your life.