Legal Separation Lawyer in Phoenix

Is a legal separation right for you?

Are you considering divorce? Depending on your circumstances, you may be better off starting with legal separation. While not as conclusive as divorce, separation offers a number of opportunities that would not otherwise be available to a couple, and may benefit both parties as they adjust to a life apart from one another.

To learn more about your options in divorce, schedule an initial consultation with our Phoenix divorce attorney. At Steven N. Cole, LLC, our priority is providing high-quality service for every client. We work closely with our clients to ensure that we understand their interests and can protect them throughout the duration of a case. With more than 20 years of experience in family law, we are equipped to guide you through the most turbulent situations to a favorable result. Contact our firm to start your case with a case assessment.

Legal Requirements for Separation

Separation and divorce, while distinct legal processes, share a large number of similarities. In fact, the prerequisites for divorce and separation are all but identical. If you are considering separation, you should be aware that you and your spouse will have to jump through a number of hoops to formally begin this next chapter of your relationship.

The requirements for legal separation include the following:

  • Grounds: The marriage must be irretrievably broken
  • Residency: One spouse must have been a resident of Arizona for 90 days
  • Paperwork: A petition must be filed in court to begin the separation process
  • Property division: Debts, assets, and possessions must be divided between spouses
  • Family matters: Terms of child support, spousal support, and custody must be established

At this level, the primary difference between divorce and separation lies in the fact that spouses must make a mutual decision to separate. Our Phoenix family lawyer can help you determine the best course of action for your marriage and, if advisable, help you take the appropriate steps to legally validate your separation.

Advantages of Separation Over Divorce

While separation may seem like a termination of your wedding vows, it is not so decisive. Instead, the process serves as a sort of middle ground between continuing and ending the marriage. After separating, a couple can decide to dissolve or resume their marriage, or continue to prolong their separation. So long as they do not terminate their marriage, a couple can maintain access to a number of advantages that come with their status as a married couple.

While separated, a couple can:

  • Maintain access to military benefits
  • Take advantage of tax deductions
  • Work through marital problems
  • Avoid violating religious or cultural standards

Of course, depending on your situation, these benefits may not be worth the trouble of prolonging your marriage. To ensure that you take the best course of action at this time, do not go without counsel from a divorce lawyer in Phoenix. Our legal team at Steven N. Cole, LLC is dedicated to providing the compassionate counsel clients need as they work through marital difficulty. We understand the stress you are facing and can help you seek a positive resolution to your situation.

Have more questions? Contact our office today for a complimentary consultation!