Determined Scottsdale Family Law Attorney Explores Legal Separation vs. Divorce
Thorough counselor advises spouses on living apart legally
The dissolution of your marriage is a difficult and stressful process. Another option that might meet many of your needs without as many complications is legal separation. With more than 40 years of experience practicing divorce and family law in the greater Phoenix area, Mark Cord is one of the few attorneys certified as a family law specialist by the Arizona State Bar. You can rely on him to evaluate your situation and counsel you on the pros and cons of legal separation. If you choose this option, Mark will represent your interests as earnestly as if you were seeking a divorce.
Sensible lawyer helps clients save time, money and stress when marriages break down
A legal separation is a family law procedure in which a court authorizes a married couple to live apart without getting a divorce. Arizona permits married couples to legally separate, provided that neither of them objects. The proceeding begins when one or both spouses file a petition for legal separation. If both spouses agree, the court will grant it with appropriate provisions for child custody, child support and alimony if appropriate, as well as the division of marital property and debts. If one spouse objects to the separation, the court will convert the proceeding into one for divorce. If agreement is impossible, he will then vigorously represent your interests in court.
Knowledgeable advocate reviews the grounds for legal separation
Some couples choose to seek a legal separation when they wish to live apart but remain legally married for religious, financial or other reasons. Both spouses must consent to the separation. If the respondent husband or wife objects, the filing can be converted to a dissolution petition. As in divorce proceedings, many separations stem from the fact that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” However, someone in a covenant marriage who wishes to obtain a legal separation must show one of the following:
- The respondent spouse committed adultery
- The respondent spouse committed a felony for which he or she was sentenced to death or imprisonment
- The respondent spouse abandoned the marital home for at least one year and refuses to return
- The respondent spouse committed physical, sexual or emotional abuse
- The spouses have lived separate and apart for at least two years
- The respondent spouse habitually abused drugs or alcohol
- Living together is insupportable due to the respondent spouse’s intemperance or ill treatment of their partner
Regardless of your specific situation or the reason why you might choose to pursue a separation, Mark will provide comprehensive legal guidance.
Understanding family law practitioner helps clients weigh the merits of a separation
A legal separation might be a better option than a divorce under certain circumstances. Since it does not terminate the marriage, it holds out the hope of reconciliation and can make sense financially or for religious reasons, for example. If divorce does prove necessary, a legal separation can lay the foundation by creating arrangements for child custody and support, visitation, alimony and the division of marital property and debts. Since legal separation is a voluntary process, the couple should be more willing to address these issues in a cooperative manner. Mark Cord can advise you on all the benefits and disadvantages of a legal separation.