Washington, DC Family-Law Attorneys Arrange Legal Separations
Legal separation can be an alternative, or a prelude, to a divorce
Unlike divorce, a legal separation does not dissolve your marriage. You remain married and cannot remarry during a legal separation. The court can, however, divide your marital property in a separation just as in a divorce. The family law attorneys at Douglas & Boykin PLLC understand that the decision to separate is a difficult one. The firm is ready to help you explore your options.
Why Washington, DC couples might opt for legal separation rather than divorce
Spouses choose to legally separate rather than divorce for a variety of reasons, including:
- Their religion or culture frowns upon or forbids divorce.
- They are not sure that they want to split up permanently.
- They can legally separate without a waiting period.
- One spouse wants to remain on the other’s health insurance.
- Being married has tax benefits for them.
- They are laying the groundwork for a divorce. (Washington, DC law requires a separation period before the filing of a divorce petition.)
- They believe that the process of negotiating a legal separation agreement will allow them to resolve issues that otherwise might turn into disputes when they eventually divorce.
Options for separating without divorcing
If you want to remain married while you determine the right course of action, several options are available:
- Live apart — Spouses don’t need a legal document to live separately. But if you are living apart informally, you are not legally separated. You do not, therefore, benefit from the clarity about your rights and obligations that a legal separation can provide.
- Separation agreement — A separation agreement is a contract that details the rights and obligations of spouses with respect to such issues as alimony and property division.
- Legal separation — In a legal separation, an order establishing child custody, child support, property division and spousal support can be drawn up. The order can be based on the terms
of a separation agreement.
The family law attorneys at Douglas & Boykin are prepared to help you explore your options and decide what is best for you.
Call Washington, DC family law attorneys for help with a legal separation
To learn more about separation agreements and legal separation, contact Douglas & Boykin PLLC. To schedule a consultation at the firm’s Washington, DC office, call 202-753-0042 or contact Douglas & Boykin online. The firm’s office is near Metro stops at Farragut North, Dupont Circle (Red Line), and Farragut West (Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines). The firm serves Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia.