Legal separation is a process through which married couples obtain a de facto separation without legally ending their marriage. When a legal separation is in place, you and your spouse will deal with many of the same issues as if you were divorcing, such as the division of debt and assets, child custody and support orders.
Not all states recognize legal separation. However, most do. Colorado is one of them.
Colorado and legal separation
According to World Population Review, Colorado is one of 44 states that recognizes legal separation. Some states have limits on how long a couple may remain legally separated before having to choose between staying married or divorcing. For instance, in Indiana, legal separation is only valid for one year. Colorado does not have any such limitations.
Legal separation before divorce
Some states, including Colorado, require couples to go through a legal separation before filing for divorce. In the Centennial State, you must separate for six months before the courts will consider a petition for divorce.
The benefits of legal separation
Legal separation entails many of the same aspects of divorce, including support orders, property division and child sharing, but, at the end of the day, it does not end a marriage. Why, then, would couples choose to legally separate?
There are a few good reasons to legally separate from your spouse. The first and most common reason couples separate is to give each party time and space to think about whether divorce is truly what they want. Legal separation allows couples to live separately while still leaving the option for reconciliation open.
Another reason to legally separate is for religious reasons. If you are part of a religion that does not approve of divorce, legal separation can allow you to remain observant of your religion while simultaneously leaving an unhappy relationship.
Legal separation comes with a few advantages. If you are unsure whether divorce is right for you, talk to your spouse about legally separating for the time being.