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Are we considered to be separated since we never lived together?

Deciding to get a divorce is a huge decision in life. The process can be highly complicated or it can be very simple. In some cases, a couple may have married in haste only to discover that the relationship isn’t right for them for them as they go forward. In that instance, all they need to do is go through a swift divorce process and move on. In other instances, divorces may take longer and involve more areas of the law. A person considering a divorce may have lots of questions about the divorce and separation process that do not have readily apparent, obvious answers. People often wonder what will affect the conditions of the divorce they have in mind. This includes the conditions of the separation and the laws that may apply in their particular circumstances at the present time. In some cases, people may want a divorce but they have never lived together during the marriage. This is not common but it does happen. Living together in the same place is one of the hallmarks of marriage but it is not the only thing that defines any marriage.

Not Required

It’s useful to keep in mind that living together is not a requirement for a marriage in any state. Married couples are perfectly free to live apart and still be considered married. A person may even live in another country and still have a valid marriage in the United States. Laws that govern marriage in the United States and separation are not necessarily based on the fact that partners live together under the same roof. What makes people married in the eyes of the law is the fact that they have signed a marital contract. The contract is what needs to be dissolved when they decide to get a divorce. This process is all about being able to remove the legal ties that bind the two members of the marriage. You might consider yourself separated but the law does not agree with you. This is why it you will need to go through the legal process of separation and divorce even if you consider yourself separated. Legal separation is an entirely different matter than a mental and physical separation. The court has no way of knowing that you are living apart no matter how long you’ve done so until you tell them when you go into court. Such a separation can be legally considered by the court system when it comes to considering the conditions of the divorce.

Creating a Legal Separation

In order to be considered legally separated, you will need to head to court and follow their directions for a legal separation from your spouse. Unless you go through this process, your separation is not considered a legal separation in any court. Keep in mind that not all states recognize legal separation. You need to consult with a lawyer to find out if your state is one of them. A lawyer can help you determine what you need to get done to become legally separated if you want to go through this process. If you live in one state and your spouse lives in another, this may still apply to your case for a legal separation. If either person is living in a state that allows for this form of marital separation this can complicate matters. You’ll need to find out which laws apply to you in both states. You can opt to file for this kind of separation even if you are not living in a state that allows for legal separation but your spouse has a domicile there. You need to decide if this form of legal separation makes sense for you or you would prefer to pursue another avenue of divorce instead.

You are Still Married

A separation is not a divorce. Many people do not remember this when they seek a legal separation. You are still considered married if you have not had the marriage contract thrown out by the state. One of the advantages of never having lived together is that doing so makes it easier for you make any necessary arrangements as you prepare for divorce. You don’t need to decide where you want to live after the divorce or during the separation. Keep in mind that all property you own during the marriage is considered joint marital property in some states. Some states will ask you to share any profits and losses you earn if you choose to sell property while you are married. Others may not.

Help With the Process

Given how complicated life can be when you are getting separated and divorced, it is ideal to have a lawyer with you as make the decision to move on from your marriage. Those who have never lived together may need to be particularly careful as they head for divorce as there can be all kinds of issues that govern their finances and the custody arrangements of their children. Issues of the division of mutual assets are issues that make a separation and divorce complex. You may want to sell your current home but you may not be able to do so without permission from your present spouse and giving him a share of any earnings you get from the sale. Legal help can make sure that you can do what is in your best interest at all times.

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