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Legal Separation Lawyer in Minnesota

Legal Separation Lawyer in Minnesota

Marriages are work. Sometimes, you need a break from it. You and your spouse may decide to separate. In some states, a legal separation is required before you can file for divorce with the idea that during the separation, you can decide if divorce is indeed what you want. Regardless of the reason for the separation, you should do it right. There are things to consider, like property and children, that can make a separation messy if you don't put some thought into it first.

At Heritage Law Office, our family law attorney in Minnesota helps clients know what they must do legally for a separation so that your rights are protected and obligations are met. If you are seeking a legal separation in Minnesota, contact our office today either through our online form or directly at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

Legal Separation in Minnesota

We've all heard the term “legal separation” used, but what is it exactly? How does it differ from a divorce? 

Legal separation, unlike a non-legally binding separation, typically means a court has approved the separation and the agreement, which outlines things like property and asset division, child custody, and financial responsibilities, including alimony and child support. When two parties are legally separated, they live separate lives as though they are divorced but are still actually married. A divorce, on the other hand, means that the parties are no longer married and are free to marry someone else if they choose.

There are different reasons why couples choose to pursue a legal separation rather than a divorce. Some see a legal separation as a time to take a break from a marriage when they are still unsure they want a divorce. Others choose a legal separation for religious reasons. 

What are the Grounds for Legal Separation in Minnesota?

Generally, the grounds for legal separation are similar to the grounds for divorce. Examples of what may be considered grounds for legal separation include:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Domestic Violence
  • Desertion/Abandonment
  • Fraud

Can a Legal Separation include Spousal Support, Child Custody, and Child Support?

Yes, a legal separation may include matters typically addressed in a divorce, including spousal support, child custody, and child support. 

Spousal Support

Spousal support is money that one spouse is court-ordered to pay another spouse. The courts consider different factors when determining whether or not to order spousal support, such as the reason for the separation, the age of the parties, and the financial condition of each party. 

Child Custody

Child custody is a hot topic when couples separate. The court will issue an order that defines who and when one party has custody of the children. The order stays in place until the parties divorce or reconcile. If the parties choose to divorce, a child custody arrangement already in place may be used to determine the best plan for child custody in the final divorce papers. Child custody is a matter separate and apart from child support. 

Child Support

When parties are legally separated, the amount of child support that shall be paid from one party to another can be addressed. Some of the factors that a court may consider when deciding whether or not to award child support, and in what amount, include:

  • Time spent with each parent
  • Income of each parent
  • Any special needs the child may have

A child support calculator, based on these and other monetary factors, is used to determine the amount.

How can a Family Law Attorney in Minnesota Help with a Legal Separation?

If you are married and considering a legal separation, a family law attorney can help you throughout the process. By sitting down and learning the particulars of your situation, a family law attorney in Minnesota can advise the best way to proceed under the laws of your jurisdiction. They can help you:

  • Determine whether or not you are entitled to spousal support, and the amount
  • Determine whether or not you are entitled to child support, and the amount
  • File and serve any necessary paperwork on your behalf
  • Proceed with a divorce

Ultimately, an attorney is someone who knows the law and is your advocate, making sure that you and any children receive what's in your best interests.

Contact a Legal Separation Lawyer in Minnesota Today

Getting the legal separation done right in Minnesota is important. It does not matter if you hope to get back with your spouse or not––it matters that your rights and interests are upheld before a court in the event something happens. Contact our office today either through our online form or directly at 414-253-8500 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options and rights.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Legal Separation in Minnesota?

Legal separation in Minnesota is a court-approved status where spouses live apart from each other while still being legally married. It can outline the division of assets, child custody, spousal and child support, and other financial responsibilities, similar to a divorce decree. Unlike divorce, however, the marital status remains intact, allowing for the possibility of reconciliation.

2. How Does Legal Separation Differ from Divorce?

While both legal separation and divorce result in spouses living separately, they are legally distinct processes. In a divorce, the marital relationship is officially terminated, and both parties are free to remarry. In a legal separation, the marriage still exists, leaving room for reconciliation or continuation of certain spousal benefits like health insurance.

3. What Grounds are Typically Considered Valid for Legal Separation?

The grounds for legal separation in Minnesota are generally similar to those for divorce. These can include adultery, bigamy, domestic violence, desertion or abandonment, and fraud. It's important to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to assess the specifics of your situation.

4. Can Child Custody and Support be Included in a Legal Separation Agreement?

Yes, child custody and support can be included in a legal separation agreement. Courts consider various factors like the income of each parent, the child's needs, and the time spent with each parent when deciding on child custody and support during a legal separation.

5. How Can Legal Separation Affect My Finances?

Legal separation often includes provisions for spousal and child support, which could have a significant impact on your finances. Additionally, assets and debts accumulated during the separation might be considered separate rather than marital property. Financial obligations like mortgage payments, insurance premiums, and taxes may also need to be reevaluated during a legal separation.

By understanding these key aspects, you'll be better prepared for what a legal separation entails in Minnesota. If you're considering a legal separation, it's advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the process.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we serve Milwaukee County, surrounding communities, and to clients across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California.