Legal Separation in Washington DC
Divorce is not the only option when two spouses wish to split, and in many cases, it is not the most financially prudent choice. If you and your spouse desire legal protection as you go your separate ways, but still want to remain married, legal separation may be your best option. The separation process is arguably just as painful and confusing as divorce, so it is imperative that you work with a trusted family lawyer. Reach out to the Barkat Law Firm with any legal separation questions and to determine whether it might be a good option for you and your spouse.
Why Pursue Legal Separation Instead of Divorce?
In the vast majority of legal separation cases, spouses choose to avoid divorce for financial reasons. Many insurance and retirement benefits are only available for spouses who are still married — but these benefits are not impacted by legal separation. Depending on the nature of the spouses’ finances, legal separation may also prove more beneficial come tax season, especially as legally separated spouses must continue to file joint tax returns. For some couples, legal separation has little to do with financial concerns, but rather, is pursued for religious reasons.
Similarities and Differences Between Grounds For Divorce and Legal Separation
As with divorce, couples who choose to pursue legal separation must live separately. However, while there is a minimum time requirement for living separately before gaining eligibility for a voluntary divorce, couples are eligible for voluntary legal separation as soon as they begin living in separate residences. If the split is not voluntary, spouses must live apart for at least one year before filing for legal separation. It is possible to establish this sense of separation while living in the same house, but only if spouses do not share a bedroom or meals.
Barkat Law Firm: High-Quality Support For Legally Separating Spouses
No matter your reason for pursuing a legal separation in DC instead of divorce, you deserve compassionate counsel from an attorney who understands your situation. Look to Sheraz Barkat of the Barkat Law Firm for patient counsel during this difficult time whether it is for divorce in DC, or legal separation.