Skip this step for now
Defining Legal Separation as per the District of Columbia
Most people only get to learn about legal separation in the District of Columbia when their marriage is on the rocks, and they wonder whether it is a legal requirement or something that would save their marriage. Well, the state does not mandate couples to go through legal separation if they plan to get a divorce straight away.
So, what differentiates legal separation from divorce? First, the documents filed in court. A Columbia marital separation agreement that breaks down rights and responsibilities of each party is required to be filled and filed in court. When it’s a divorce, parties file for the dissolution of marriage. The second difference is the fact that legal separation does not dissolve a marriage, and so parties cannot remarry because they remain legally bound to each other.
When to File a Marital Separation Agreement in DC
Again, you will not need to file for separation if you already know you want to be free of each other. Legal separation is for those to whom divorce is not an option or for those that feel their marriage could be salvaged if given a chance. The agreement will address child support and custody as well as spousal support. It may also divide marital property and liabilities. Still, as much as separation is not mandated in DC, the law requires you to either be living separately in the same house of apart altogether before you file for absolute divorce.
Some people may feel that they would be best served by filing a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, but in most cases, those would be headed for uncontested divorce. The procedure for divorce is similar to that of legal separation with the slight difference being that legal separation does not require a minimum waiting period as a divorce does.
If at any point in separation the two of you solve your differences, you will be required to file a document for the resumption of marital relations. The separation agreement will be voided, and none of you can refer to it in the future. If you decide to go on to absolute divorce, the law requires that you go through a year of separation before you can file for dissolution.
A divorce is lengthy, and a tad complicated especially when parties disagree on division of property, but solving your marital issues could allow you to file for uncontested divorce. You will still be required to be living separately for at least one year.
Legal separation is the best option for those who don’t want to go through divorce just yet. It’s also for those held by religious beliefs or other ties that make them stronger together. You may need help filing the agreement as per the DC law to ensure equity. Consult us on any matter regarding legal separation forms in DC.