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Not ready to divorce? Legal separation could be the answer

During tumultuous or rocky times in a relationship, many couples immediately turn toward divorce when reconciliation is no longer on option. Divorce can be an exceptionally appropriate course of action to take for any number of people, but it is far from the only option. Colorado couples who are facing difficult marital times but are unsure if divorce is the best choice for them can be assured that there are other paths that they may choose to follow.

Although at times used interchangeably, the terms "divorce" and "legal separation" refer to two different processes. Upon the finalization of a divorce, both parties can remarry at any time they wish. A legal separation, on the other hand, does not give either party the freedom to get married again. Admittedly this might seem counterintuitive to some people who are looking to end a marriage, but the benefits to a legal separation are not to be understated or ignored.

For one, legal separations are especially useful for couples who would like to spend some time apart but who are not entirely sure whether divorce is the right course of action. Spousal support is typically addressed during legal separations as is property division, so both parties can be sure that they will be well cared for during the course of the separation. Other benefits include the ability to remain on an ex's health insurance policy. This can be especially important for anyone with a chronic illness.

Deciding on a legal separation rather than a divorce does not mean that the couple must start the process all over again should they later change their mind. If necessary, a petition to convert can be filed with the family law court, which can effectively change the legal separation to a divorce. We understand how confusing and overwhelming these types of decisions can be, and as such we have spent years dedicating our time and knowledge to our clients in Colorado and their unique, individual needs.

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