Legal Separation vs. Informal Separation in Minnesota

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Informal separations happen when one spouse simply moves out of the home. As covered in a previous post, this can give the other spouse significant advantages if a divorce occurs down the road.


Legal separation is different because it actually goes through the court system. It does not dissolve the marriage, but it still allows the courts to outline the rights and responsibilities of each party during the separation period.

Many of the same issues are covered by a legal separation in Minnesota as by a divorce. You may divide up property and debts, decide who maintains possession of the house or cars, and get clarity on who sees the children and when. However, you and your spouse are still married.

Sometimes, people seek legal separations for religious reasons: they don’t want to get a divorce but they don’t want to stay together either.

Legal separations are rare, but they are an alternative to divorce. It could be a method to grant you and your spouse more time to determine whether you really want the divorce, or if you just need some time to determine if reconciliation is the right choice instead.

The family lawyers at Barna, Guzy, and Steffen can listen to your unique situation and advise you as to whether or not this step might be right for your case. Don’t try to do this alone: contact us for a consultation today and begin the process to protect your rights and interests during your divorce or separation in Minnesota.

About Elizabeth A. Schading

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