One of the options that Wyoming couples have if they find themselves in a troubled marriage is legal separation. This is an alternative to divorce where the effects are similar to a divorce expect that the spouses remain legally married. Several couples choose legal separation for varied reasons. This could be religious differences or simply because they are still not prepared or are not sure if divorce is what they seek.

The limitations

According to Wyoming divorce lawyers, legal separation involves the same issues as divorce where spouses need to sort out matters of child custody and support, visitation rights, division of assets and debts, and other related matters. In such cases, the court may grant legal separation for a specific period following which the couple should either decide on reconciliation or go ahead with a divorce.

In some cases, the court may grant permanent separation without any specific time limit. However, legal separation does not permit either spouse to remarry. Your Wyoming divorce lawyer will let you know about this beforehand.

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Separation agreement

In order to go ahead with legal separation, both spouses will need to sign a separation agreement in which details on matters related to the welfare of the children involved including support and visitation, and the division of assets and debts are included. Depending on the situation of the marriage this agreement could be a complex document that requires the expertise of a Wyoming divorce attorney.

Residency requirements

To petition for a legal separation, it is mandatory for the filing spouse to have lived in the state for at least 2 months prior to filing the petition. Alternatively, the marriage must have been solemnized in the state and the filing spouse must be a resident of Wyoming from the date of the marriage up to the date of filing for separation.

Grounds for separation

Since Wyoming is a no-fault state, neither spouse is required to state or prove alleged misconduct on the part of the other spouse. The couple can petition for separation stating irreconcilable differences just as in a divorce petition. If either of the spouses is determined to be insane and has been in a mental institution for a minimum of two years, the other spouse can use this as a ground to demand separation.

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The initial procedure is also similar to a divorce where a summons and a petition is served to the defendant. At the hearing the judge will pose questions to both spouses ­– the plaintiff and the defendant – after hearing arguments from the filing spouse. If the defendant agrees or fails to appear at the hearing, the court will grant you a legal separation.

Wyoming couples who seek to take a break from each other ought to consider seeking legal counsel from a suitable and standout divorce lawyer. With many sensitive issues such as custody and finances at stake, it is always prudent to sort out these matters amicably. Your legal representative will be able to guide you in the right direction be it an annulment, legal separation, or divorce.