A legal separation is when a couple divides assets and lives separately, but they are technically still married in the eyes of the law. Legal separation is not the same as if you and your spouse decide on your own to split assets and live apart. There is a legal process you must undergo to achieve this status, and under it you and your spouse have definitive rights and obligations by law.
Marital Mediation, often used as a means to facilitate communication and resolution of marital disputes, can also be a part of this legal process. It involves the assistance of a trained mediator who helps the couple navigate issues such as asset division, child custody, and other matters in a collaborative and non-confrontational manner. The aim of Marital Mediation is to find mutually acceptable solutions and potentially avoid the adversarial aspects of traditional legal proceedings.
It is important to note, however, that couples that are legally separated cannot remarry unless they are actually divorced. It should also be noted that a legal separation is not quicker or easier to obtain than a divorce: the process is essentially the same but with a different outcome.
Couples may opt for legal separation instead of divorce for religious reasons, cultural beliefs, personal reasons, financial decisions, to retain spousal health insurance benefits, or for reasons relating to children. It is possible to rescind a legal separation and return to your previous living arrangement (i.e. reconciliation) or turn your legal separation into a legal divorce.
You can learn more about legal separation and Marital Mediation in Colorado by visiting the Colorado Judicial Branch.
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