A bad marriage doesn’t always have to end in divorce. You and your spouse have another, perhaps even better, option with a legal separation. While it doesn’t free you to marry someone else, it has other advantages that lead to reconciliation for some couples.
A Formal Agreement
But first, what is legal separation? Is it the same as physical separation? Does Colorado recognize legal separation?
Unfortunately, the mere act of living separately from your spouse is not a legal separation. The two of you have to consult with a family attorney to arrange a legal agreement, which will define the parameters of your separation. This agreement has to contain provisions for allocation of parental responsibilities, spousal maintenance, child custody and support, division of property, and other relevant matters.
Fortunately, Colorado does recognize legal separation. Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas are just some of the states that don’t recognize this option for couples who want out of their marriage.
Your legal separation is legal and binding, unless the court finds cause to deem it unreasonable. If this is the case, your lawyer will have to revise the agreement to ensure that the terms are fair and just for both of you.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
Legal separation is ideal if you and your spouse have an inkling of reconciling. When you live apart, you will get an idea of what life will be like without your spouse. This can lead to reconciliation, or end up in divorce, which, according to research from Ohio State University, happens to 79% of couples who separate.
Unlike divorce, legal separation is reversible. You don’t have to remarry to regain the benefits of the marriage.
But aside from the prospect of reconciliation and the ease of returning to married life without having to go through the whole wedding again, legal separation also creates a financial benefit: It’s not as costly as a divorce.
If you and your spouse agree on all terms for the legal separation, you don’t need to experience lengthy and expensive battle typical of most divorces.