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Legal Separation

Legal SeparationNashville Legal Separation Attorneys|Turner Law Offices, P.C.

Legal separation is perhaps one of the most misunderstood terms in divorce vocabulary.  Legal separation does NOT mean “trial separation.” Rather, legal separation is an alternative to divorce if a married couple would like to deal with the issues involved in their marriage, but would prefer to remain married.  If you and your spouse are having marital problems, and you choose to leave the marital residence, you are “legally separated” without filing anything in Court.  On the other hand, Tennessee law provides for spouses file a Complaint for Legal Separation instead of a Complaint for Divorce. In a legal separation case, the assets and liabilities of the parties are divided, child custody and support issues are decided, and spousal support can be set.

Differences between Legal Separation and Divorce

There are two methods for dissolving a marriage in Tennessee court system: 1) divorce and 2) legal separation.  The Tennessee courts are required to find the same grounds as would be required to grant a divorce The main advantages of a legal separation is that the parties remain married, allowing a spouse can remain on the health insurance coverage of the other spouse and the parties maintain a legal relationship in the event of death or disability of the other spouse.  The main disadvantage of filing for legal separation is that conduct during the period of separation can later be used as grounds for divorce; the most common issue is when one party begins a sexual relationship with someone else while they are legally separated, therefore committing adultery. If one party files for divorce but the other spouse files for legal separation, the court has discretion to determine which case will go forward; the purpose of legal separation is to leave an opportunity for reconciliation, not delay a divorce to allow some financial benefit.  Filing for legal separation often doesn’t make sense because it can be as expensive as a divorce, and it is a temporary measure which must be followed by filing for divorce.

Consult with a Legal Separation Attorney

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., we have over 20 years experience representing clients in family law matters. We have the knowledge, training and experience necessary to properly advise you regarding legal separation versus divorce.  Request a Free Initial Consultation Online or call our office to schedule your in person meeting with one of our family law attorneys.

(615) 259-2660

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