Family Law Attorneys in Wausau WI: Divorce or Legal Separation?
Find out how our family law attorneys can assist you.
As family law attorneys in Wausau WI, we sometimes receive inquiries about pursuing a legal separation rather than a divorce. In an action for legal separation, the Court will enter a judgment (either after a trial or based upon agreement of the parties) dividing the couple’s property, providing for custody and placement of minor children, and addressing child support and maintenance. The only difference will be that a divorce terminates the marriage. After a legal separation, the parties are still legally married.
Once this is explained to a person considering a legal separation, we find that most people decide to initiate a divorce rather than a legal separation. Even in those cases where a legal separation is initially filed, in our experience, the action is almost always converted to a divorce before a final judgment is entered.
There are some situations, however, where a legal separation might be preferred to a divorce. A legal separation may allow one spouse to remain on the other’s health insurance plan, for example. Other benefits, such as social security or military benefits may be preserved if the parties remain married for at least 10 years. Aside from financial considerations, couples may want to pursue a legal separation if they are not certain that a divorce is what they want, but still want a legally enforceable judgment with regard to property division, child custody and placement, or other issues. Others may pursue a legal separation for religious reasons.
Either party can ask the court to convert the action from a legal separation to a divorce any time before the judgment of legal separation is granted. But, during the first year after a judgment of legal separation has been granted, the judgment can be converted to a divorce only by stipulation of both parties. Once a year has passed since the judgment of legal separation, either party acting alone may petition the court to convert the judgment of legal separation to a judgment of divorce, and the court is then required to convert the judgment. On the flip side, if there is a reconciliation after the judgment of legal separation has been granted, the parties can apply for a revocation of the judgment.
Family Law Attorneys in Wausau WI
Get more information about family law attorneys in Wausau WI. Learn more about the legal separation or divorce process, property division, child custody & placement, child support, maintenance or paternity from family law attorneys in Wausau WI. If you have questions about your family law matter, call our family law attorneys in Wausau WI for a free telephone consultation. Call 715.843.6700 to speak with one of our family law attorneys in Wausau WI. Divorce lawyer in Wausau serving clients throughout north central Wisconsin. General information about legal separation.