What If I’m Not Ready? How Does Legal Separation Differ from Divorce?
Is Legal Separation an Option?
Absolutely. If you and your spouse want the legal protections provided by a divorce in NH but don’t want the finality of a divorce just yet, you do have the option to get what is called a legal separation in NH. A legal separation provides many of the protections of a divorce in New Hampshire, with respect to dividing property and separating debt and establishing parenting rights, and has the flexibility to either become a divorce down the road or be withdrawn in the event the parties wish to pursue reconciliation.
The process of getting a legal separation is very similar to getting divorced in that decisions must be made about property division, child support, spousal support, and parenting rights and responsibilities. The difference is that, at the end of the process, the parties are still legally married. After parties are legally separated, if they want to change their legal separation to a divorce, they can do so and with minimal administrative detail and cost. People choose this option for varied reasons: some have emotional or religious reasons for wanting to avoid divorce; some have practical reasons, such as remaining insured through an employer’s health insurance policy. Whatever the reason may be for you, consider exploring the option with an attorney.
If you have questions, NH divorce Attorney Kim Weibrecht is available to consult on legal separation issues in NH.