Legal Separation vs. Divorce Claim

Legal separation is, unlike divorce, not the end of a marriage, although it’s often treated as a transitional point in a divorce claim. Contact a Virginia divorce attorney for more information.
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* Virginia Beach - Virginia - US

April 26, 2012 - PRLog -- A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage, and it is generally filed by one spouse against the other on the grounds of some complaint. Inherently, divorce is “fault-based” – one party did some injury to the other or failed to perform or uphold spousal duties.

Legal separation does not terminate a marriage, unlike divorce. On the other hand, a separation involves a court order that explicitly describes the rights and duties of each spouse while they are living independently of one another.

Understanding Legal Separation

In a separation, you stay legally married but live separately, including in matters such as child custody, child support, the division of property, spousal support and visitation. Virginia’s laws operate differently than most other states, however, in that a legal separation in Virginia does not necessarily have to be codified by documentation.

That is to say, you don’t need to officiate a legal separation. The only way to denote legal separation as a married couple is to stop living together for a period of at least a year, and either you or your spouse must have the intention of ending the marriage with separation being an initial, transitional point.

Virginia law does allow for in-home separation, but there are a number of risks associated with doing so. Given this, particularity in Virginia’s justice system, it’s best if you enlist the services and aid of a dedicated Virginia divorce attorney who primarily practices divorce law with an emphasis on helping women who wish to end their marriage.

7 Tips for Keeping Your Sanity While Cohabitating with Your Soon-to-be Ex-Spouse

If you do decide to pursue an in-home legal separation as part of your process toward filing a divorce claim, the following suggestions will help you cohabitate with your spouse peacefully under one roof while preparing for the inevitable:

•   Under no circumstances should there be any romantic gestures or sexual motives;
•   Maintain separate bedrooms and living quarters;
•   Keep separate household responsibilities;
•   Use separate telephones;
•   Be honest with your family and friends about the circumstances and be clear that although you are living together, the marriage is ending;
•   Do not shop for one another or share food; and
•   Do not socialize at functions, social or professional, with one another – if you have something to go to for your child, attend, but don’t sit together.

If you decide to live together while going through the divorce process, do not leave any of your records lying around where they could be accessed by your spouse and potentially used against you. While you should be clear, open and honest with your spouse, you do not need to provide him or her with the means to harm you in divorce proceedings, so make every attempt to control your feelings and maintain civility.

How a Virginia Attorney Can Help with Your Divorce Claim

Should you opt to pursue a divorce against your spouse, the same attorney who helped you lay out your separation agreement can assist you with the preparations. You’ll want to focus on the division of assets and debts, child support, spousal support and child custody as they relate to your case Call 1-757-425-5200.

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Source:Hofheimer & Ferrebee
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Tags:Legal Separation, Divorce Claim
Industry:Family, Legal, Divorce
Location:Virginia Beach - Virginia - United States
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