When a couple is considering a divorce, oftentimes one of two things happens. The couple may opt to live separately while considering their options and possibly pursuing counseling. In other cases, the couple may live separately and also file for legal separation.
As the time passes some couples decide to reconcile -- it’s a beautiful thing, however, this decision often involves certain legal impacts.
Understanding Legal Separation Terms in Colorado
Couples pick legal separation for several reasons. Some may not wish to divorce for religious or other personal reasons, but want the legal protections of having a degree of separation. Others may not be completely sure they are ready to legally terminate their marriage.
Colorado is a bit of a unique state when it comes to these matters. Here, when a couple files for legal separation, the process works nearly identically to the process for getting a divorce. Custody, the division of assets, spousal support, child support and other factors must be worked out and agreed upon before couples are legally separated. The only difference is that they are still legally married. Because of this, people considering legal separation should likely get advice from a divorce attorney. If the agreement includes care of an elderly parent or making financial arrangements for long-term care, couples may also wish to consult an elder law attorney in Denver.
Dismissing a Legal Separation
Because a legal separation is filed through the courts, it is binding. If a couple wants to reconcile, they may do so. However, they are legally separated until they go through the courts again to have the decree of separation revoked. In this case, each spouse signs a document indicating they want to end their separation and reconcile. When this is filed, a judge will dismiss the legal separation.
Reconciling During Divorce Proceedings
When a couple files for divorce, there is a 90 day period before the divorce becomes finalized. During that period, they are still legally married. In addition to this, they have the option of stopping the divorce proceedings and reconcile. This requires filing a stipulated motion to dismiss. Again, a family lawyer can provide important advice on pursuing this option. Couples who don’t take action to end divorce proceedings will be legally divorced.
Things to Consider About Marital Reconciliation
If a couple is truly able to work out their issues and reconcile, that is a very positive thing. Unfortunately, there are cases where reconciliation is attempted when the couple has not worked out their issues. For example, one party may pressure the other into reconciling for financial reasons. In other cases, one spouse may not wish to live apart from their children and will ask to reconcile the marriage.
Sadly, these attempts at reconciliation often fail. When that happens, the couple is essentially back at square one. They must go through all of the legal steps required of them before they can be separated or divorced again. In addition to this, one spouse will be in the position of moving out and finding housing.
Are You Considering a Marital Reconciliation?
Before you take any action relating to a divorce or legal separation, you should strongly consider getting legal advice. A Brighton family law attorney will be happy to give you advice on protecting yourself through these proceedings. It may also be a good idea to consider marital counseling to ensure that reconciliation is the right choice and that your marriage will remain healthy after.