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Legal Separation

A legal separation means that a married couple is separating in the eyes of the law, but has not carried through with completely terminating their marriage. While they may live apart and have separate lives, they are still legally bound through marriage. There are benefits to a legal separation, along with reasons that a couple may choose to not simply pursue divorce. This may be that there is still a hope for the relationship to be reconciled, for religious or financial reasons or other personal causes. Medical benefits may also be granted to a separated couple, giving them incentive to separate rather than divorce.

It offers an alternative, allowing couples to have different residences while retaining their marital status. This process still requires that all issues of property division, spousal support, child custody, child support and all other issues attendant in a divorce be resolved as you would in a divorce proceeding, In a legal separation, there is no mandatory waiting period, i.e., if you and your spouse have agreed on all issues, you can obtain a decree of legal separation immediately.

How to Become Legally Separated

The process for a legal separation can follow many of the guidelines of a divorce but may have differences depending on the court so it is important to look up the regulations for the court the separation is being sought through. As with a divorce, a petition will need to be filed with the court. A petition for a separation can be found on the website for the Washington Court. The party will be served or both parties may choose to pursue the separation together.

If children are involved, a parenting plan will need to be formed and child support payments may need to be established. After everything is in order, the documents can be drawn up and signed. During the process of actually getting court approval and finding a resolution, temporary orders may be necessary to establish the division of assets or debts, child visitation, child support and child custody. These can be set up by the courts to decide who will watch the children, who will pay for what and other issues that will need to be handled while a case is being resolved.

The process of obtaining a legal separation from your spouse can be made that much easier with the assistance of a skilled attorney from Blair & Kim, PLLC. Our dedicated staff has extensive knowledge in the areas of divorce, legal separation and other family law matters. By working closely with our clients, our attorneys are able to develop and negotiate agreements for property division, child custody, child support and any other aspects of legal separation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mark C. Blair has no rival in his field in Seattle. A consummate professional. Communication was brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and without a typical condescending tone you can sometimes experience from attorneys on top of their field. Correspondence was timely and always affective. Any in need of criminal defense, should have a conversation with Mr. Blair, and you will quickly see and feel, no further contacts, referrals, or phone calls need be made. The money and time that can be saved by streamlining future contact and collateral damage in the sentencing process will far and away be worth every penny of the fee structure. Thank you very very much Mark Blair. N.Mark French
★★★★★
Sara Kim of BlairKim is a great attorney. I had never before had representation or dealt with the legal system and she made it very easy for me. She converted the legalese into laymans terms for me and helped me to understand the steps of the process. When I hesitated on certain decisions, Sara gave me the confidence and encouragement to proceed – especially since it was most beneficial to me in the long run. Sara is very straightforward and professional while also being personable and pleasant to deal with. Tamara
★★★★★
Sara Kim was the perfect lawyer for our situation. We were determined not to involve the courts in our divorce. Within the first 30 minutes of consultation, Sara proposed an equitable formula for division of property which we used to negotiate an agreement that felt fair to both of us. Our flat fee arrangement with Sara covered the filing of paperwork which alleviated much pressure for us during a very stressful time. I highly recommend Sara for her flexibility, professionalism, and efficiency. Carrie