Legal Separation in Rhode Island

Thinking About Legal Separation Vs. Divorce? Speak with a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney!

Divorce has a sound of permanence to it that may be too drastic for some married couples going through a rough patch of their relationship. The thought of completely dissolving the shared life they have worked on together is simply too much. If you are feeling like your marriage needs to be put on hold but divorce does not feel like the right answer, you should consider legal separation.

In Rhode Island, legal separation is an additional barrier couples can use between their marriage and a potential divorce. Its primary purpose is to give spouses time to think and room to breathe without fully committing to any major decisions. If you think that legal separation could be the solution for you and your spouse, do not hesitate to call 401.216.4414 and talk to a Rhode Island divorce attorney from TJC ESQ.

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What Legal Separation Will Cover

A divorce seeks to established rules and guidelines for basically all aspects of your life, your spouse’s life, and the lives of your children. A legal separation does, too, for the most part. Since legal separation requires that you and your spouse live apart, you will have to discuss a few keys aspects in particular that could become troublesome without proper preparation.

Your legal separation should address:

  1. Spousal support: Living a comfortable life apart might mean providing finances to whichever spouse makes the least income. A legal separation is supposed to create time to think, not time to worry about basic expenses. Set up a fair alimony plan with the help of our Rhode Island family law attorneys and your legal separation is more likely to be beneficial.
  2. Housing: You cannot live together for your legal separation to be considered official by the Rhode Island divorce court. As soon as you know you would like to separate, talk about housing possibilities. This may also be tied back to spousal support if one parent needs to start renting a separate apartment.
  3. Children: Who will get primary custody of the children? Would you like to establish a balanced visitation schedule? Will the primary custodian need support payments from the other to keep the children happy and healthy? All these questions and more regarding your children you share together must be considered.

Property Division, Or the Lack Thereof

One of the key differences between divorce and legal separation is the division of marital property, or the complete lack of division. Since you are not ending your marriage, marital property does not cease to exist. If you receive inheritance while legally separated, it goes into your shared assets. If your spouse falls into credit card debt during the separation, it is technically half your debt as well. The closet thing you might come to dividing property is figuring out who gets to keep the living room furniture during the separation. With proper spousal support payments decided ahead of time, it should not be an issue, as the person entering new housing should be provided financial help to furnish it.

Ending Your Legal Separation

Religious reasons may keep you from fully divorcing your spouse and your legal separation may persist for as long as the two of you live. For most other couples, the separation will need to come to an end eventually, as it is not ideal to be in the in-between for too long. If the time apart has worked as intended and the two of you were able to work things out with level heads, you may wish to dismiss the separation, filing for its removal together, and effectively reinstate your marriage. If your time alone has made you realize you want to be alone and without a spouse attached to your left ring finger, you can tell the court you want a full divorce. Remember that anyone can file for divorce for any grounds, so you do not need your spouse’s permission to end the legal separation.

Call 401.216.4414 for Responsive & Caring Legal Advocacy

At TJC ESQ, our Rhode Island divorce lawyers are well-known throughout all of Rhode Island for being compassionate and knowledgeable in all legal matters pertaining to divorce and family law disputes. Ever since our firm’s founding in 1989, we have helped hundreds of families stay together, or peacefully separate. Whatever your wishes and goals for your unique situation, we want to be the team that helps you accomplish them.

Contact us at your earliest convenience to begin learning more about legal separation.

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