How To: File for legal separation from your spouse

File for legal separation from your spouse

Contemplating divorce but not sure you're ready? The best way to deal with marital problems is to file for a legal separation. This tutorial will take you step by step through this difficult, emotional process.
You Will Need
• Internet access
• Required paperwork
• Law officers
• Notary public
• Do-it-yourself legal kit (optional)
• Lawyer (optional)

Step 1: Meet residency requirements
Meet your state's residency requirements. Laws vary from state to state, so check your state's court website.

Step 2: Decide legal representation
Decide if you need to hire a lawyer or are willing and able to file the paperwork on your own.
Reasonably priced do-it-yourself legal kits are available for purchase online.

Step 3: Complete paperwork
Complete the necessary paperwork. Include provisions for the custody of children, child support and alimony payments, division of property, and current financial obligations.
A legal separation is binding in the eyes of the courts and could dictate an eventual divorce decree. Take care when filling out the paperwork.

Step 4: Serve papers
Arrange to have law officers serve your spouse with the separation papers.

Step 5: File the paperwork
File the paperwork, with notarized signatures, if both parties are in agreement. A judge will need to decide the matter if a spouse contests any part of the petition.

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