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Colorado Attorneys - Kaplan Law, LLC

What’s the Difference Between a Divorce and a Legal Separation?

By Kaplan Law on May 26, 2010

Typically, in a Colorado divorce, property and debts are separated and spousal support is determined. In addition, if children are involved, parenting issues and child support must be resolved. The marriage ends with the issuance of a divorce decree.

A legal separation in Colorado also separates couples financially and declares the parties to be separate individuals without responsibility for one another. The legal separation paperwork also addresses parenting issues and child support. Much of the same paperwork must be done to complete a legal separation as a divorce. In a separation, the judge issues a decree of legal separation rather than a divorce decree.

One of the primary differences between a divorce and a legal separation is that the couple who have legally separated cannot remarry until they obtain a divorce decree. In addition, couples who have legally separated retain inheritance rights. If the couple who has legally separated decides to divorce, they can convert their decree of legal separation into a divorce decree fairly simply under Colorado law.

There are some reasons couples may seek a legal separation instead of a divorce. They may not be sure that a divorce is what they want but need time apart. They may wish to retain medical or other benefits that would be lost in a divorce. Some couples have a religious objection to divorce. Some social security benefits or military pensions are only available after a couple has been married for 10 years, so a couple could seek a legal separation instead of a divorce in order to qualify for those benefits.

If you are married in Colorado and think a legal separation may be right for you, contact the experienced and dedicated Denver family attorneys at Kaplan Law, LLC. Our legal team will help you analyze your situation to decide whether a legal separation would be a good option. Please call us today at 1-877-527-5206.

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