How to 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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