Legal separation is an alternative to divorce. This is an option for couples who are considering reconciliation in the future. With divorce the marriage is terminated, whereas with Legal Separation, you have the ability to resume your marriage with a formal request to the Court to terminate the Legal Separation.

What are the benefits to Legal Separation?

Both legal separation and divorce will divide assets, create a parenting plan, and assign financial responsibility to each spouse. This allows both parties to utilize the Courts for relief with these issues but reserve tax benefits, health insurance coverage, and other employer sponsored benefits. A legal separation allows the parties some space which can in certain circumstances assist the parties in reconciliation, if that is their goal.

What is the process for legal separation in Washington State?

The process for legal separation and divorce are very similar and begins when either spouse files a petition (request) with the local court.

What if I decide I want a divorce after filing for legal separation? 

You must file and serve a new petition for divorce.

The process of obtaining a legal separation from your spouse can be difficult and emotional. By our skilled family law attorneys at Smythe & Jones PLLC we can assist you in this process and helping you determine if legal separation is the best option for you and your family.