Legal Separation vs. Divorce

When is legal separation an alternative to divorce in Missouri? For that matter, what exactly is legal separation? And how is it different from divorce?

Although legal separation and divorce are very similar in many ways, there is one major distinction — at the end of an action seeking legal separation, the parties are still married. The court does, however, still issue other orders similar to those it may issue in an action for divorce relating to child custody and support, spousal maintenance and the division of property and debts.

When Divorce Isn't The Best Option

At my law firm, Martsching Law Firm, LLC, I am a family law lawyer who can answer all your questions about legal separation (or separate maintenance, as it's referred to under Missouri law) and advise you whether separation may be a feasible option to divorce.

There are several reasons why legal separation may be preferable to divorce.

  • The marriage is potentially salvageable — if the marriage is not irretrievable broken but current circumstances make it unworkable (e.g., addiction or fidelity issues), property can be divided and child custody and support orders entered.
  • Moral or religious grounds — when divorce is against one's moral or religious beliefs, legal separation can be an option when child custody, support and property division issues need to be addressed and fairly decided.
  • Health insurance — under some employer health plans, spouses need to stay married for them both to be eligible for insurance. To avoid having one spouse lose coverage due to a divorce, separation may be an option to maintain the insurance.

As an attorney with almost two decades of experience in family law in the greater Kansas City area, I will give you straightforward, practical advise, based on the specific details of your situation, about whether legal separation may be an option for you.

Wise Advice To Empower Your Soul

You can come to me for straight advice on whether legal separation is the right option for you. I can also tell you whether your separation can be converted into a divorce, whether your spouse can contest the separation and whether you can dissolve a legal separation and live together again as husband and wife.

Reach out to me online for more information, or call my offices in Liberty, Missouri, at 816-832-2555. I am always ready and willing to help.