When married couples are thinking about separating and possibly getting divorced they need to check all their options and make sure they choose the one that makes the most sense for them and their future. There are three main legal options when husband and wife want to split, annulment, legal separation, and divorce. Annulment is not really an option for a lot of couples because they simply don’t qualify.
Legal Separation v. Divorce in Utah
Legal separation and divorce are however almost always options so it is important to know the differences and the benefits. A legal separation is basically a weak divorce, by that I mean it allows for parties to separate property, decide custody issues, and in essence decide all the issues that a divorce decides except that the parties remain married. The benefits of legal separation or separate maintenance as it is often referred to is it allows people to stay married whether it be for religious belief reasons or to keep receiving benefits as a married person like insurance or an inheritance. Another reason that some couples opt for legal separation is to use it as sort of a trial separation to see if they really want to be separated before they make a huge decision like terminating their marriage through divorce. The downside of course to legal separation is that if the couples do ultimately decide they want to get divorced then they have to go through the whole divorce process even though a lot of the issues were already settled in the legal separation action.
Circumstances for Legal Separation or Separate Maintenance
In Utah there are a few situations when a person may bring an action for legal separation or a petition for separate maintenance as it is refereed to in the court and they are as follows:
- A spouse neglects or deserts the other spouse and has property in this state.
- A spouse is deserts the other without good cause.
- If a spouse is imprisoned for a year or more and fails to provide for the other spouse.
- A spouse with the ability to provide for the other spouse refuses to do so.
- When the parties are separated, meaning the do not live together.
Ogden Separate Maintenance Attorney | Getting Help with your Legal Separation
Legal separation may or may not be right for you and it may be hard for you to make that decision without the right help. So call Ogden Divorce Law today to speak with one of our experienced family law attorneys to get the help you need so you can make an informed decision about your future.