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Is separate maintenance right for you?

Jan 4, 2019 | Firm News, Property Division

Divorce is not the only option for unhappy couples in West Virginia who are ready to end their relationships. If you and your spouse want to separate but remain legally married, you have the option to do so. The act of separate maintenance has many benefits and can also simplify the divorce process should you later on decide that you are ready to end things for good.

Separate maintenance is, in many ways, quite similar to divorce. This legal separation will have you living what is basically a divorced life while remaining legally married. You will still have to address many of the same issues, particularly if you plan to maintain separate residences. Common topics you should expect to handle include:

  • Child support and custody
  • Alimony
  • Asset division
  • Potential grandparents’ rights

It is understandable if you do not feel ready for divorce just yet. After all, it is an enormous life step with serious financial and emotional implications. Separate maintenance gives you the ability to utilize a less-permanent approach to your marital issues, particularly if you would like to continue taking advantage of certain benefits such as joint tax filings.

Deciding between divorce and separate maintenance is not always as straightforward as some people might hope. West Virginia family law can be complicated, and the benefits of one process versus another might not always be clear. Couples who want to make the most-informed decision possible may want to consult with experienced attorneys who understand the nuances that family law can have when applied to each person’s individual situation.