The terms ‘legal separation’ and ‘divorce’ are often used interchangeably. Though they are similar to some extent, there are some stark differences between the two. The most important difference is divorce, but not legal separation, puts an end to marriage. To plead for divorce, you or your spouse must insist that your marriage is broken for once and all. However, if any of you seeks legal separation, you need to assert that the marriage is broken but not irreversibly. It is not mandatory for both the parties to request for legal separation or divorce; request by anyone of you is considered enough for the purpose.
There are some requirements to file a divorce case or request for legal separation. Here are those:
- Residency Requirement: If you are seeking for legal separation or divorce, you need to be a citizen of the country in which the case is filed for 30 days (at least) ahead of filing the case. You and your spouse need not to be legally separated to file a divorce lawsuit. A divorce is also granted even if you are not legally separated.
- Custody & Support for Child, Property Division: If the couple cannot agree, the court has the absolute authority to decide how the marital property will be divided between the parties, the amount to be allotted for maintenance and alimony, child custody, child support and placement issues.
- Waiting Period: In both cases of legal separation and divorce, there is a 120-day waiting period. In other words, until 120 days are passed, the couples are not officially separated or divorced. There is a chance of reconciliation for the parties at any time before legal separation or divorce is granted by the court.
- What Experts Say: If you are filing for legal separation, there is a way to convert it into divorce only if both parties are willing. Even if only one party files a motion for divorce after one year of legal separation, it will be granted by the court.
Contrary to a widespread belief, divorce and separation cases involve complications. You may have several queries that only an expert can answer. Consult an eminent Green Bay divorce lawyer to clear your doubts and receive guidance as to how to proceed.
Some Common Queries
Followings are some common queries asked by the laymen preparing for legal separation or divorce.
Can I Marry After Legal Separation or Divorce?
You cannot marry after legal separation. However, you can remarry after divorce but not within six months after the divorce is granted. However, it is permissible for the spouses to remarry each other even before the six-month period is over.
Can I File For Divorce without Any Reason?
Yes, you can. However, you must emphasize that your marriage is broken beyond reconciliation. Neither you nor your spouse is required to establish that the other party has done something wrong during the marriage. However, either of you is required to testify under oath that the marriage is irreversibly broken.
It is always advised to take help of a learned and experienced lawyer even if you and your spouse agree on all terms.