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Advantages of Getting a Legal Separation in Colorado

Thursday, 24 February 2011

blog-logoIn Colorado, like many other states, there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding legal separation. As a Colorado Springs divorce lawyer, I often meet with clients who think that because they have lived separately from their spouse for a while, they have already established a “legal separation in Colorado”.  They are often very surprised to learn that the state knows nothing about this.  In order to achieve the status of “legally separated”, couples must petition the court for a legal separation. 

There are some distinct advantages to a legal separation in Colorado.  For couples who aren’t ready to move forward with a divorce, a marital separation agreement can disentangle them from joint financial obligations and resolve the issues of child custody and support.  Neither party will be free to remarry, nor can the wife legally reclaim her maiden name, but many couples choose a legal separation for other reasons.

  • One reason to remain separated for awhile is to protect health insurance benefits for a spouse.
  • For military families, the Uniformed Services Spouse Protection Act requires couples to remain married for a minimum of ten years before the non-military spouse can take advantage of benefits. 
  • Also, the Social Security death benefit does not go into effect until the couple had been married for at least ten years.
  • Many couples have strong religious beliefs or moral values that don’t agree with divorce, so they opt for a legal separation in Colorado.
  • Even more importantly, couples may choose to legally separate when they are still unsure if they really want a divorce. 

Once a marital separation agreement is in place, it will be much easier if they ultimately decide to divorce.  These agreements cover all of the issues that are required by law to be included in the final divorce decree, so it is easy to convert a separation agreement into a divorce agreement. 

If you want to learn more about legal separation in Colorado, contact the family law attorneys at The Marrison Family Law LLC for a free consultation.

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