Legal Separation is a way to press the pause button in a marriage. Sometimes married couples need time to work out issues before considering divorce. While just physically separating may be enough, other times the parties need an order in place. While separated the order will set out the rights and obligation of the parties.
Oklahoma family law allows married couples to file for legal separation. The requirements for filing are the same as they are for divorce. Legal separation cases resolve all the same issues as a divorce. This includes property division, debt allocation, child custody, child visitation, child support and even alimony. The main difference is that instead of dissolving the marriage, the parties remain married.
Reasons to Seek a Separation:
There are several reasons why married individuals seek a separation over divorce. For instance a separation may work as a temporary resolution for couples who are uncertain about getting a divorce. If the couples are trying to resolve their differences, a separation can give them breathing room to work it out. If the parties divorced, they would need either file to vacate the divorce or remarry. In either case parties must meet certain requirements. Additionally, it’s also easy to modify a legal separation into a divorce if the parties decide not to reconcile.
Another instance a legal separation may be preferred is when there are minor children involved. Often times married couples, that would otherwise be divorced, have stayed together for the sole purpose of raising the children. Plus, the mere idea of their parents getting a divorce can be extremely stressful for the children of the marriage. If the parents are concerned about their children a legal separation may be appropriate, until the children are old enough to better understand the changing family dynamics or no longer a factor in the divorce proceeding.
Separations and When You Have Children:
Additionally, when filing for a divorce that involves minor children, Oklahoma divorce law imposes a ninety (90) day wait period before a divorce finalization. Here again, a legal separation may be appropriate to divide the parties’ assets and property, while the parties wait to finalize their divorce.
Finally, clients often approach us about legal separations in Oklahoma when the married couple has religious or personal reasons to avoid a full divorce. For example, a legal separation would be appropriate for those individuals who do not plan to remarry or have no desire to dissolve the marriage. A legal separation would allow these individuals to separate and divide their marital assets, but still maintain their vows of marriage.
This is of course a broad overview of legal separation in Oklahoma. There is still some complexity to filing for legal separation and some legal aspects, especially regarding property division, that should be discussed with an attorney before pursuing a legal separation.
An interesting Family Law article; Dividing property in divorce
Contact a Legal Separation Attorney in Tulsa:
If you’re considering divorce or separation in we can help. Our attorneys can meet with you within 24 hours for a free consultation. Otherwise, you can call our office or email for Free information regarding legal separations in Oklahoma. 539-302-0303
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