Some married couples in Washington would prefer to live apart but do not want to divorce. If that is the case, a legal separation may be an option while considering the next step in your marital relationship. Contact Cohen Family Law, LLC at (360) 953-5000 to schedule a free consultation with a Vancouver legal separation lawyer today.
Why Choose Our Firm?
Our legal separation attorney will aggressively protect your best interests.
Our team has more than 25 years of combined experience and knows what it takes to help families reach their goals.
We take the time to fully understand each client’s circumstances before explaining their options and crafting a legal strategy unique to their situation.
How a Legal Separation Attorney Can Help
Even if you and your spouse both agree to separate, you should not try to tackle the process alone. There are situations where a legal separation should be avoided. An experienced family law attorney can help you consider all of your options to ensure that it is the right path for you. If so, your attorney can guide you and assist in drafting an agreement that is suitable for both you and your spouse. Decisions regarding asset division, maintenance, custody, and child support must be made, making it critical to have professional representation who can advocate for you and your family’s best interests.
Legal Separation Process in Washington
Filing for a legal separation in Washington is very similar to the procedure for divorce, which means filing paperwork and serving your spouse. The couple has the ability to agree on the terms of their legal separation, or the court will:
Once a legal separation decree is entered, it will allow the couple to test the terms of their arrangement before taking permanent legal action. After six months have passed, either spouse may choose to file a motion to convert the separation to a divorce. All of the orders related to custody, maintenance, etc., will remain in effect.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
The most significant difference between legal separation and divorce is that a couple remains legally married. If the couple were to reconcile, a legal separation can be reversed, where divorce is final. In some situations, a legal separation is the right choice for couples who do not wish to violate their religious or personal convictions about divorce. Another potential benefit is that it allows couples to keep their legal marital status for healthcare, certain social security benefits, and immigration purposes. Decision-making responsibilities also do not end as they do after a divorce. A spouse is still considered next of kin and can make medical or financial decisions when necessary. It’s also important to note that any debts incurred by either spouse while separated will be the other’s responsibility should they reunite.
Speak to a Washington Legal Separation Attorney Today
If you and your spouse are considering a legal separation, we can help you understand the legal and financial implications and ensure your rights are protected. Contact Cohen Family Law, LLC today to schedule your free consultation.