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Many couples choose to live separately, for some period of time, before electing to file for divorce. These couples refer to themselves as being separated. However, this is not recognized as a legal separation in the state of Connecticut.

In Connecticut, legal separation is a judicial decree that is almost identical to a divorce. Unlike in a divorce, however, a couple that enters into a legal separation remains legally married. As a result, neither in the couple may remarry without filing first filing for and obtaining a legal divorce.

Today, most couples elect to file for divorce instead of obtaining a legal separation. Still, each couple should recognize that their situation may be unique, and a legal separation may be the best choice for them.

What do Divorce and Legal Separation Have in Common?

Both a divorce and a legal separation address important issues including custody and the division of assets. The couple, often with the help of independent legal counsel, negotiates in an effort to reach an agreement regarding how the division of the couple’s assets and finances. A couple with children can also determine how custody will be shared, if at all.

The terms to which the couple agrees are legally binding. A couple that is unable to reach an agreement will rely on litigation by default. If the couple wishes to avoid litigation, it may seek to reach a reasonable agreement using mediation.

Although a legal separation differs from a divorce, it does provide each partner from being held responsible for any debt, liabilities or taxes your incurred by the spouse following the date of legal separation.

How is a Legal Separation Different?

A legal separation is a legal decree that is almost identical to a divorce. The biggest difference is that the couple remains legally married after it is awarded a legal separation. A legally separated couple is not required to live together; in most cases, the spouses do not. Simply put, the couple agrees to live in accordance with the terms of its legally binding separation agreement.

Does a Legal Separation Ever Become a Divorce?

A legal separation will never become a divorce on its own. This is true despite the many misconceptions that a legally separated couple is divorced after a certain period of time. A legally separated couple can divorce only after a motion to convert is filed with a Connecticut court. The couple remains legally married until the court issues a decree dissolving the marriage. This means that no spouse can remarry while they couple remains legally separated. It does, however, provide the opportunity to reconcile without having to remarry.

Contact a Stamford Divorce Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case

The skilled and experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant, L.L.C. are waiting to assist you in determining whether or not a legal separation is right for you. We are also committed to negotiating on your behalf in order to help you reach a favorable separation agreement with your spouse. Schedule your initial consultation with us today by calling 203-348-2465 or by sending us an email through our online contact form.

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