In some situations, a person may wish to separate from their spouse, but are not ready or willing to divorce them. A legal separation will allow spouses to live apart from each other, without formally dissolving the marriage.
For some couples, particularly those with strict religious objections to divorce, legal separation is a way to no longer have a marital relationship without officially dissolving the marriage.
A legal separation:
However, legal separation has a major disadvantage for some couples. Because the marriage is still valid, neither spouse can remarry.
The grounds for a legal separation action are the same as those for a divorce: incompatibility, failure to perform a material marital duty, or incompatibility by reason of mental illness. Neither spouse has to prove that the other was at fault for the marital issues in order to grant a legal separation. The court may award spousal support and divide assets and debts in the same way that it would in a divorce. Unlike a divorce, there is no residency requirement to file a maintenance action.
If a couple has been granted a legal separation, they can still file for divorce at a later date. However, if one party files for legal separation and the other party files for divorce, the court must grant the divorce.
If you are considering a legal separation action, contact Jeffers Law Office. Attorney Mark Jeffers is familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of this legal process, and can assist you in deciding if this type of case is best for your particular situation. Our office offers free initial consultations. Contact me today to learn more about your options for legal separation in Kansas.