Indianapolis Legal Separation Lawyer
Some couples who decide to separate choose legal separation over divorce. Legal separation may be your best option as an interim step to divorce or as a final solution with financial and personal benefits for both parties.
Our family law attorneys in Indianapolis have significant experience handling legal separations. Our Indianapolis legal separation attorneys know what is at stake in family law cases and will take every possible measure to avoid a contentious future with your spouse. We understand the sensitive nature of legal separation and are committed to protecting your best interests.
What Is Legal Separation?
Legal separation is an arrangement by which couples live apart but remain legally married, following a court order. The order issued by the court mandates the rights and duties of both spouses while they are legally separated. The most basic difference between legal separation and divorce is that the couple remains married and is not free to remarry.
A legal separation is far more formal than a decision to live apart. It involves a court-approved legal separation agreement with a plan for raising children, that divides property, and affects the financial connection spouses have with each other.
How Does Legal Separation Differ from Divorce?
Divorce and legal separation differ in several important ways:
- With a legal separation, couples retain their marital status and are not free to marry another.
- Reconciliation is simpler after a legal separation. There is no need to remarry, as there would be after a divorce.
- Legally separated spouses are considered next of kin and may still make financial or medical decisions for the other, whereas divorced spouses cannot.
- In a legal separation, each spouse’s rights to property benefits upon the death of the other spouse remain in place. These rights are extinguished in a divorce.
- Debts and liabilities, along with assets, are distributed among the spouses when a marriage is dissolved. In a legal separation, each spouse may still be responsible for the debts of the other.
- Unlike in a divorce, couples who are legally separated retain healthcare, Social Security, and other spousal benefits.
In What Ways Is Legal Separation Similar to Divorce?
The court makes some of the same decisions in a legal separation as it would in a divorce. As in a divorce, legal separation proceedings address:
Why Choose Legal Separation?
As an alternative to divorce, a legal separation may have personal and financial benefits for spouses. However, if you want to remarry, or see no financial benefits to legal separation, you may choose to go straight to divorce. Couples may choose legal separation for a variety of reasons, including:
- Religious prohibitions on divorce
- Financial protection while deciding whether to end the marriage
- Eligibility for health insurance coverage provided by one spouse’s employer
- Tax benefits from filing income taxes jointly
- Social Security and military benefits when a couple remains legally married for at least 10 years
Why Choose an Indianapolis Legal Separation Attorney?
Our experienced Indianapolis family law attorneys at Trapp Law, LLC understand that no two cases are the same. We work hard to develop creative and custom solutions for each client we represent. Our firm strives to deliver high quality, affordable legal services.
We offer a free and confidential initial consultation. Contact us if you are considering legal separation as an interim step or alternative to divorce.