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We have represented hundreds of clients in divorce proceedings. This includes all aspects of a divorce case including negotiation, mediation and/or litigation.
Every divorce case requires a distribution of property and debt, if there are children it requires the establishing of a parenting plan and child support , and other provisions that are common in divorces, and finally the entry of a divorce decree which legally ends the marriage. Despite the common provisions in each divorce, we recognize that each divorce case is as unique as the people involved and the unique facts of each case.
What is legal separation?
Legal separation cases deal with the same issues that are found in a divorce. Parenting plan issues, child support, property and debt division, and spousal maintenance may all be addressed. The major difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that at the end of the case, in a legal separation the parties remain legally married.
Couples who enter into legal separation agreements can remain separated indefinitely, or if they choose, can request the separation be converted into a decree of divorce. The only requirement for converting a decree of separation into a decree of divorce in the State of Washington is that six months time must pass from the date of the entry of the separation decree and the conversion to a divorce.
Legal separation or divorce
There are several reasons a couple might choose to remain married and file for legal separation. For instance, the parties may no longer wish to live as spouses, but may desire to remain eligible for certain benefits. In some cases, the couple may have strong religious convictions that do not allow for divorce. In such a case, a legal separation will allow the parties to live separate and apart and also be financially independent.