Legal Separation vs. Informal Separation in Minnesota

April 13, 2016  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

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. If a divorce is later decided upon as the way to proceed, the person who had remained in the home may have more rights to maintain ownership as well as more access to the items within the home. The person who moved out may find him/herself at a disadvantage if the relationship has now dissolved past the point of being able to negotiate openly and fairly. However, sometimes informal separations are a cooling off period and the couple may decide to remain together. Every couple’s situation is different.

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Legal separation is uniquely different from Informal Separation 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. While this offers a solution, it might be considered only a temporary solution as long term, there are aspects of remaining legally married that could complicate the future of both parties.
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. Maybe one or both parties has religious objections to a divorce and for this reason Legal Separation in Minnesota is an option that some consider. This is not an option that works for everyone, as every relationship is different, so is every separation and/or divorce. Your lawyer can help you work through what is best for you and for your family. The Family lawyers at Barna, Guzy and Steffen, Ltd. have extensive experience helping people navigate the many aspects of divorce law and legal separation in Minnesota. This is not something that couples should attempt to resolve on their own, it is often best to hire an attorney who can guide the way.
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. Legal separation can be an alternative to immediate divorce for some people.
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.
Our law firm was founded in 1938 and our mission is to serve the community by providing the best legal service for our clients to achieve their goals and guide them as they go through difficult times. The Family Lawyers at BGS approach each case with sensitivity to the client’s individual needs and will keep clients updated and informed as the case proceeds.
Your BGS family lawyer has a support staff of experienced personal who understand the needs of divorce and family law clients. You can call for an appointment which are available during our office hours Monday – Friday. Some of the Family Law attorneys are now offering convenient after-work hours appointments on Tuesday evenings. Liz Schading is also offering 7AM appointments.