Making headlines for the past few months was the very abrupt and hasty divorce proceedings between Hollywood royalty couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Issues that had been building over time came to a breaking point, and less than a week later, Angelina filed for divorce. But are they really going to get a divorce? Would a legal separation have been a better choice?
When you marry someone, you are in effect taking a public oath to be with that person through the legal contract of marriage. When a couple moves through the process of a legal separation, the couple is, in essence, making a public declaration that the marriage vow is over, and divorce is ensuing, but neither party is legally able to remarry. Of course, it goes without saying that in the United States, a person is only allowed to be married to one person at a time.
So when a legal separation is declared, it is essentially a pre-notice of a pending divorce. What is different and sometimes useful with a legal separation is that it is not a finalized divorce. This fact means that a reconciliation between the parties can occur, and the marriage can resume without a new marriage contract or certificate.
If there is a chance of reconciliation but the couple has experienced some traumatic event; one spouse has developed an addiction of some sort and needs to seek treatment; or any number of other problems that arise in a relationship, then legal separation may be the best choice. It is a way to have the court proceeding of a divorce start, but with the opportunity for the couple to still work things out and continue with the relationship.
It is important to note, however, that either party at any time can proceed to court on their own and commence the final separation or divorce. The court also has some legal obligations to act on the request for legal separation, so there are some timeframes that are important to keep in mind, especially if the couple decides to resume the relationship and continue the marriage.
Legal separation in Connecticut still entails some of the difficulties that typically surround divorce. The parties are still required to:
- Establish custody orders
- Determine division of property
- Agree to financial arrangements
- Establish child support
- Establish spousal support
- Divide assets
Discuss Your Situation with a Connecticut Divorce Law Firm
If you are considering a separation from your spouse, contact the experienced Connecticut attorneys at The Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant to get the help and advice that you need to determine if filing for a legal separation is right for you. Piazza, Simmons & Grant attorneys are experienced in all aspects of divorce, separation, and custody, and will make sure that your rights are supported and protected throughout the process of dissolving (or resuming!) your marriage. The Connecticut attorneys at The Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant can be contacted or by calling 203-348-2465.