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Opting for a legal separation versus a divorce

If a Colorado couple decides that they cannot make their marriage work, one or both spouses may be thinking that it is time to get a divorce. Although they are not common, legal separation is an option if both individuals are not sure if divorce is the right step to take.

When a couple files for legal separation, they remain married but are currently living apart. Legal separations allow individuals to take some time to work through emotional, personal or financial issues they may be going through. Before a couple can be legally separated, the court must determine if any spousal or child support will be awarded. Decisions that are made during a legal separation can have an effect on the divorce terms if a couple opts to get a divorce later on.

A divorce is when a couple is no longer legally married. This means that they must divide up their marital property and determine who the children will primarily live with. If they cannot come to a decision together, the court may step in and make decisions based on any prenuptial agreements that were signed and what is best for any children that resulted from the marriage.

Filing for divorce is not a small step, especially if there are kids or significant assets involved. A family law attorney may suggest a legal separation if a spouse is not sure if a divorce is the right step. If the spouse does want a divorce, however, the attorney may ask for primary custody of the children, seek child support from the other spouse and ask for the family home or other assets that the person has a connection to. If the person is not seeking primary custody, the attorney may assist with negotiating a visitation schedule that allows the parent to maintain a strong relationship with their children.

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Cooper, Tanis & Armas, P.C.
42 Garden Center
Broomfield, CO 80020