Sometimes, people no longer wish to live with their spouses, but are not ready for the permanent step of divorce. Kansas law accommodates that preference by offering legal separation, known in the state as “separate maintenance,” as an option. Our helpful family law attorneys at The Henry Law Firm, P.A. in Overland Park, can explain how separate maintenance works and will help you achieve this outcome if you choose it.
Legal separation, referred to as “separate maintenance” under Kansas law, is a process by which spouses set up separate households while remaining legally married. Spouses may file and seek separate maintenance in court on the following grounds that are also used in divorce cases:
The court can order the parties to undergo counseling in an attempt to maintain the marital relationship, unless there is a history of domestic violence. After a 60-day waiting period, the court can grant the legal separation and resolve any terms related to property division, spousal support, child custody or child support where the parties have not reached an agreement.
There are several reasons why couples might choose separate maintenance over divorce:
We can help you decide if legal separation is a beneficial option for you.
Legal separation is not as common as it once was. One reason is that divorce no longer carries the social stigma it once did, even among many deeply religious people. Another reason is that in a separate maintenance action, you must resolve many of the same, often difficult, issues as in a divorce, such as property division, spousal support, child custody and child support. Meanwhile, the parties lack the freedom to remarry that divorced spouses have. Some couples who want to remain married but live apart from each other might prefer to separate informally, especially if they have no children or they hope to reconcile. We will explain the potential drawbacks, as well as advantages, of legal separation, as well as those of less formal arrangements, and let you decide.
At The Henry Law Firm, P.A., our Kansas family law attorneys handle separate maintenance negotiations and proceedings for married couples who no longer wish to live together but are not ready for divorce. Call us at 913-381-5020 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys in Overland Park.