Legal Separation

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Legal Separation

In Missouri, couples can seek a legal separation when they need a change in circumstances, but feel their marriage is not irretrievably broken. There is often a misconception that couples who live apart for an extended period of time are legally separated. In actuality, it must be obtained through a court order.

A legal separation is very similar to a divorce in many ways. A married couple seeking a separation follows the same court process as divorce and either goes to trial or enters into a settlement agreement to divide property.  The trial judgment or settlement agreement is binding on the parties. Any property acquired by a spouse after the judgment of legal separation will not be marital property. The terms of custody and support are also defined in a proceeding.

Providing an Option for a Marriage that can be Salvaged

Following a legal separation, a couple can reunite down the road. However, if the parties do not reconcile, either party may motion the court 90 days or more after the judgment, to modify the legal separation to a divorce.

Helping Clients Maintain Health Insurance

In recent years, legal separation has become a popular choice for couples who want a divorce, but also would like to keep the non-working spouse on the working spouse’s employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Certain couples also seek legal separation for religious or ethical reasons.

Do you need a legal separation from your spouse? Schedule a free consultation with St. Louis, Missouri legal separation attorney Stephen Bardol to help you through the court process.