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Connecticut Legal Separation
Maybe you’re considering legal separation. Maybe your spouse has brought the subject up. You may want more information about how divorce and legal separation work. You may want to know what your post-separation financial life will look like in terms of alimony and spousal support or property division. If you have kids, child custody and parenting plans or child support are probably on your mind.
Our separation attorneys’ lawyering and negotiation skills are top-notch, but that’s not the only thing that matters. We care about what you want for your life. Our first task will be to help you identify and prioritize your goals. Then, our team of lawyers builds a legal strategy for your separation that’s focused on the things that matter most to you.
Common Separation Modification Issues
A myriad of issues can come up after a separation is finalized, but some are more common. If have Post Judgment issues, it’s often because:
- You want to convert your legal separation into a divorce.
- One parent wants to relocate.
- One spouse wants to remarry or cohabitate with a new partner.
- A parent doesn’t pay child support.
- A spouse disobeys the court’s separation order and doesn’t pay alimony.
- New evidence came to light after the separation.
- A spouse doesn’t transfer property as required.
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LIVING APART VS SEPARATION
There’s a difference between what people often call “separation” versus a true “legal separation”. It is not unusual for a couple to live separately for a while before filing for divorce. Most of them use this trial separation as a breather to decide what they really want to do about the relationship. This is not the same as a legal separation. Just like there is no “common law marriage” in Connecticut, there is no “common law separation.” No matter how long you and your spouse live separately, you are not legally separated unless you go through the formal court separation process. One of the benefits legal separation provides when there are children involved is that each parent has the clarity and security of a court-ordered parenting plan and child support while they are separated.
LEGAL SEPARATION VS DIVORCE
Both legal separations and divorces address division of marital debts and assets, alimony, custody and child support arrangements for minor children, and other key issues that require a lot of time and money to resolve. Just as with a divorce, the alternative approaches to litigation — mediation and collaborative law — are available to you and your spouse for a separation. The biggest difference between legal separation and divorce in Connecticut is that, in the case of a legal separation, a couple remains married and cannot remarry without divorcing first.
HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN LEGAL SEPARATION & DIVORCE
The main difference between legal separation and divorce is that a legally separated couple remains married and cannot remarry without divorcing first. Legal separation was more popular back when it was somewhat common for advantageous employer health insurance benefits to be offered to a spouse despite the separation. That said, because legal separation does not end a marriage, other employer-based marriage benefits (like pension benefits) might remain available to you or your spouse when you are legally separated.
THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT DIVORCE & LEGAL SEPARATION
When choosing whether legal separation or divorce is best for you, here are a few other items to consider:
- Legal separation can be “undone," making it a more flexible option.
- Divorce is a "clearer" decision, leaving the spouses better-able to move forward.
- The couple’s adopted religion may prohibit divorce but not separation.
- There may be a tax benefit to either separation or divorce based upon the specifics of the couple's situation and goals.