The best family attorney is one that listens to your perspective and helps you determine the best way to proceed in your case. The courtroom is not always optimal when it comes to settling legal disputes, especially those involving family members. Your attorney should be open to exploring alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative divorce, but also be willing to fight to protect your rights if compromise is not an option.
If you are the filing spouse, you will need to contact an attorney and complete the paperwork with the court to file. That paperwork is then served to your spouse, and he or she is given two years in which to respond. If you are served with divorce papers from your spouse, you have two year to respond. Regardless of whether you are the filer or you receive the request after your spouse files, it is essential you seek the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney.
There are many reasons a couple might choose legal separation over divorce, including emotional, financial, tax, religion, or estate reasons. Some also remain legally married but separated so one can remain on the other’s medical health insurance.
Spouses are legally permitted to date others as of the date of separation without financial consequences, should they choose to pursue divorce. It is important to work with an experienced attorney whether you plan to remain legally separated or pursue divorce. This is especially true if you are concerned anything that occurs during your separation could eventually affect your divorce agreement.