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When is legal separation the right choice for Washington couples?

There are times in which Washington couples may find themselves in a situation where they want to formally end their relationship, but a divorce is not an option. In these cases, separation is a possibility. This is also an option for a couple who wants to formally separate for an extended period of time before moving forward with a divorce.

If you believe that a separation is the right choice for you, you would be wise to ensure you have taken the appropriate steps to ensure it is legal and enforceable. If you need to draft a legal separation agreement, it is prudent to have experienced guidance as you do so.

Is the best choice a separation?

Legal separation is not the best choice in every situation, but there are specific reasons why this option could be most beneficial for you. Some reasons why people consider this step before divorce includes the following:

  • Legal separation gives you the opportunity to live apart before making the decision to move forward with the divorce process.
  • It allows two spouses to live separately while having clarity on matters pertaining to child custody, property division and more.
  • There could be tax benefits to remaining legally married, and for some couples, there are religious reasons to separate rather than divorce.

There is more to legal separation than simply moving out of the shared residence. A legal separation will formally address child custody and visitation, division of assets, financial responsibilities and other important issues.

Like divorce orders, legal separation agreements should be thorough and complete. This helps a couple avoid additional complications and disputes down the road. This is a legally binding contract, and you would be wise to have help as you consider these important issues.

Options for when divorce is not an option

Legal separation does not end your marriage, but the agreement will address certain things most couples address during divorce proceedings. In fact, a strong legal separation agreement can be the foundation for your divorce order in the future.

If you think legal separation is a prudent option for you, you do not have to decide on your own. You can seek a complete evaluation of your case, a step that will allow you to decide what path to take based on fact and an understanding of your options. Before you make any important decisions that could impact your family, take time to carefully evaluate all options.