Legal Separation

General Information

Legal separation is a means of establishing some legal rights in a difficult marriage without immediately resorting to “absolute” divorce. It does not go as far as divorce in terms of restoring the parties to their pre-marriage status but is a preferred alternative in certain circumstances. During a legal separation action, the parties may enter into a Separation Agreement which is then filed with the court and defines continued expectations and understandings. Such an agreement may define what actions must be taken to restore the marriage, list which events will cause either party to move for divorce, or deal with child or monetary issues while the parties live apart, etc.

If a Decree of Legal Separation is entered:

  1. Property later acquired by either spouse is his or hers to keep if the spouses ultimately divorce. Such property is not considered “marital property” which a court must divide “in just proportions.” KRS 403.190.
  2. Provisions in each spouse’s will which award property to the other spouse are not affected. In contrast, when divorce is granted, all dispositions of property made to the former spouse are automatically revoked. KRS 394.092.
  3. The parties are not free to marry someone else. Parties may marry again only if they have been granted a divorce. KRS 403.010.

Purpose/Necessity

Legal separation may be desirable under any of the following circumstances:

  1. The parties are willing to see if a time apart will cure a temporary marital problem or will prove that divorce is necessary.
  2. The parties feel the need to separate but one or both have religious, moral, or social misgiving about obtaining a divorce.
  3. The parties want to separate in some fashion but would like to retain certain benefits such as health insurance, Social Security, or the ability to file joint tax returns. This is not automatic following legal separation but requires consideration of the policy terms, agreements in the Separation Agreement filed with the court, and other factors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Services Offered and Cost

Legal Separation

Legal fees: hourly rate

To have our attorneys review your case, please CLICK HERE to enter basic info using our secure online form.

 

Uncontested Legal Separation

Please note: For your case to qualify as “uncontested” it must fit the criteria described on our page for uncontested divorce. The legal fees will increase if the matters are contested, if there is an exceptionally complicated division of assets, etc. as described on that page.

Legal fees: $500 flat fee

To have our attorneys review your case, please CLICK HERE to enter basic info using our secure online form.

 

Uncontested Legal Separation with Minor Children

Please note: For your case to qualify as “uncontested” it must fit the criteria described on our page for uncontested divorce. The legal fees will increase if the matters are contested, if there is an exceptionally complicated division of assets, etc. as described on that page.

Legal fees: $700 flat fee

To have our attorneys review your case, please CLICK HERE to enter basic info using our secure online form.