If you no longer wish to live with your spouse, but are not ready to initiate a divorce, legal separation gives you the ability to establish terms addressing parenting and financial matters. You might choose this alternative for religious reasons, to maintain spousal insurance benefits or because you believe reconciliation is possible. At Hart Law Office, we advise Wisconsin residents on the legal separation process and will advocate for appropriate arrangements if you decide to separate.
A Wisconsin legal separation involves more than just you or your spouse moving out of the marital home. It is a judicially recognized procedure in which a judge actually changes your legal relationship status. Whereas married couples share ownership of property that is acquired, legally separated individuals can acquire property individually and may make certain legal decisions on their own as if they were single. The one thing you can’t do while you are legally separated is remarry. As experienced family law attorneys, we can help you see how your life might look if you take this step.
A legal separation process is very similar to that of a divorce. It’s critical that you negotiate a separation agreement, which resolves issues pertaining to property division, maintenance (alimony), child custody, child placement and child support. If these arrangements are not in place, your petition could be dismissed or you might be forced to live under the terms set forth by the judge. Our firm guides clients through the separation process, preparing the necessary paperwork and appearing in court on your behalf.
Legal separation may be a better option than divorce for some couples. If you depend on health insurance provided by your spouse’s employer, divorce will likely terminate your right to use it, whereas legal separation allows you to continue using it. Religious or family considerations might also weigh against dissolving a marriage completely. You may also continue to file joint tax returns if you are legally separated, but not if you’re divorced. If you reconcile, you can easily end the separation simply by asking the judge to vacate the order. Following a divorce, you would have to wait at least six months before you can remarry each other. If you’re having marriage problems, determining the best way to proceed can be very difficult. You can count on us for knowledgeable, compassionate counsel that helps you find the right solution based on your situation and needs.
Hart Law Office helps Wisconsin clients obtain legal separations and assists them with other family law matters. Please call 414-271-1775 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at our office in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward. We offer weekend and evening appointments for your convenience.
Q: What is a divorce?
A: A divorce is the legal termination of marriage. All states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when filing the divorce papers with the court. The reasons given when filing are referred to as the grounds for divorce.Read More ›