In Arizona, one alternative to divorce is a legal separation. In a legal separation, all the same issues potentially dealt with in a divorce must also be dealt with in the legal separation. The only really difference is that at the end of the legal separation process, you are merely legally separated, not divorced. Without the court’s Decree of Legal Separation, physically living apart, for any length of time, does not mean the parties are legally separated. A court action must be filed by one of the parties, just as in a divorce. Thus, if one of the parties has concerns about limiting their exposure for financial actions of the other party, but is unsure that a divorce is really desired, a legal separation may be the solution. Also, if the parties desire to live separately but religious beliefs restrict the parties from seeking a divorce, a legal separation may provide the relief needed. In addition, a legal separation may allow a spouse to remain insured through the other spouse’s insurance. The Law Office of Carrie M. Wilcox will be happy to discuss the specific benefits and detriments of legal separations and help you weigh your options.
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