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Initiating a legal separation, part 1

42400740_S.jpgVery rare is the marriage that never has conflicts. And sometimes a couple may find themselves wondering if they want to continue their life together or go their separate ways. This can be a very difficult decision that will have a long-term impact on a family. But by separating for a while, both parties can assess their relationship and make a clear-headed choice that is informed by their true feelings rather than what may be a temporary emotional state.

So if you have come to the conclusion that a separation could provide you with a needed break and the opportunity to work through your issues, there are a few steps that you need to take. First and foremost, you and your spouse should discuss what kind of separation will best suit your needs. An informal separation is the least complicated route to take. An informal separation typically involves living apart without any legal agreement or stipulations.

The problem with an informal separation is that it does not provide for a clear delineation of responsibilities and rights. This means that there is no ready resolution if you and your spouse should have disagreements regarding child custody, visitation or child support. For this reason, you may be best served by filing for a legal separation.

A legal separation can serve to create the ground rules to be followed during your time apart. And this can limit the possibility of disagreements or resentments interfering with your opportunity to address and work through your issues. A legal separation requires a written agreement which an experienced family law attorney can help you draft and submit to the appropriate authorities.

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