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Return to top If both spouses agree to a legal separation because they want to stay married but disagree about the other issues (property and debt division, parenting plan for children), one spouse would file one of these complaints stating what he / she want to happen in the case (choose the one, depending on whether there are children or not): Learn more about dividing marital property and debt, figuring out a parenting plan and calculating child support.Return to top If the defendant does not file an answer within 20 days of being served with the plaintiff’s complaint, the plaintiff may ask the court to default the defendant and grant the plaintiff everything asked for in the complaint. Return to top If one spouse wants a divorce, the court will grant a divorce instead of a legal separation and the marriage will end.
A legal separation is a formal court process that recognizes the couple’s specific status as having a "legal separation." To use this process, the couple wants to separate but stay legally married to protect significant religious, financial, social or legal interests.Return to top No, a legal separation is not a required step before getting a divorce.It is a totally separate process, although the court treats (1) the division of marital property and debts and (2) the parenting plan and child support for their children the same in a legal separation and a divorce.If you want to ask the court to change a property or debt division order, you can file: , SHC 1336.If the court entered a final order about custody, parenting plan or child support, there may be a change of circumstances that allows these issues to be changed.
You can explain the changed circumstances in the , SHC 1336.