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What are the different types of separation ?

Many marriages are heading to separation and divorce. Both these things are separate and many couples prefer separation to divorce. Many a times couples need space and want to cool off when they have issues. Some times, the couple has already decided to go in for a divorce and separation is the step towards divorce. This way, they can split the responsibilities and property and find a working solution to the issues.

In case, you have considered separation as your option to solve the problems, it is wise to know the different types of separations. Each one has its own legal ramifications.

Legal separation:

  1. Many people think that if they have filed for a divorce they are legally separated. Legal separation is completely different from divorce.
  2. Legal separation is granted by courts in which there is division of property and the couple separates. Alimony and child support are also addressed in this and it is called as separate maintenance. Any debts incurred or any property acquired during a legal separation is considered as separate property. The property in no case becomes the marital property.
  3. Legal separation is very much like a divorce with regards to involvement and consumption of time. Though legal separation is similar to divorce, the parties are still considered as married and are not eligible for remarriage.

Permanent separation:

  1. In this case the couple separates and lives a separate life. The alimony or child support may be paid but these matters depend on the parties involved.
  2. Permanent separation is like a legal separation without a court order. The marriage is considered intact in permanent separation. Many states treat permanent separation as legal separation when it comes to debts and property acquired during separation. The debts incurred for maintaining the marital home or caring for children are considered as jointly owned. You will have to check the laws regarding permanent separation in your state.

Trial separation:

  1. Trial separation lasts for a few months, weeks to several days. The intention behind such separation is limited and no decisions about property, child support, spousal support, etc are decided. Many trial separations result in reconciliation and there is no separation in the case.
  2. In trial separation, one of the partner is staying with friends or family until both of them decide to take some decision. Any debt or property is jointly owned.
  3. In such separations, the couple may live apart, still have joint lives for most part, and not divide anything. They may have joint checking accounts, credit cards, etc. you will have to see the laws in your state for trial separation regarding debts and property.

In many states, the law requires the couple to stay separately for a certain period before granting a divorce. This separation period is termed as cooling off time wherein both the parties can do some serious thinking.

Many states may convert an order of legal separation into divorce decree after a certain period and assumes that the requirements are met.

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