What is Legal Separation or Separate Maintenance?
Sometimes married couples for many different reasons may not want to continue living together but at the same time may not be ready to end their marriage. For couples who do not want to divorce but who do want to obtain court orders pertaining to any matters involving the division of assets and debts, or spousal support (also referred to as alimony and spousal maintenance), or orders pertaining to their children such as custody, support, and parenting time, Kansas law provides a legal action called separate maintenance, more commonly known as legal separation.
Legal separation and divorce may contain similar issues that may be complex or relatively simple and may be highly contested or entirely uncontested. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement the court will make decisions on the disputed issues. Therefore, it is usually in the best interest of both parties to work towards an out-of-court settlement in order to maintain control over their financial and personal affairs and their decisions pertaining to their children rather than having to conform to the orders imposed upon them by the court.
The Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce
The most significant difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that in a divorce the marital union is dissolved, whereas in a legal separation the parties remain married. Notwithstanding, if one spouse files a Petition for Separate Maintenance and the other party subsequently requests a divorce, the court will not issue a decree of separate maintenance but rather will issue a decree of divorce, thereby terminating the marriage.
Attorney Mindy Reynolds understands that the decision to file for legal separation can produce stress and anxiety compounded by the fear of an uncertain future. The law firm of Mindy Reynolds is committed to providing a caring and understanding atmosphere that focuses on turning a turbulent time in your life into the start of a new and optimistic beginning.
Contact experienced family law attorney Mindy Reynolds today to learn how she can help you take control of your life and move forward.
Mindy Reynolds represents clients in Atchison, Coffey, Dickinson, Douglas, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, and Wyandotte Counties and throughout Kansas.