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In Minnesota, a legal separation is similar to a divorce

Some residents in Minnesota think that a divorce or an annulment is the only way to change the status of a marriage. However, a legal separation is another method that can allow couples to live apart from one another. A legal separation in Minnesota will officially change the status of a marriage. Sometimes, it can also be as complicated as a traditional divorce. So here are some facts about the legal separation process.

It's important to remember that there is a difference between a legal separation and an informal one. An informal separation can be agreed upon by the couple themselves or with the help of a mediator. However, an informal separation does not change the status of the couple's marriage and is not recognized by a court. Only a legal separation grants these rights.

A legal separation may be right for a couple who cannot get a divorce because of their religious beliefs. It can also help a couple whose financial abilities may be severely affected by a divorce. Couples in Minnesota also need to understand that they do not need to be legally separated in order to get a divorce, even though separation can involve many of the same issues as a divorce.

Some of the issues that must be decided during the legal separation process include child custody, child support and alimony. The couple's assets must also be divided. However, a couple who was granted a legal separation is still considered married, so neither of the spouses can get remarried. Also, a wife who has been granted a legal separation may not use her former name after the legal separation.

A legal separation can become as complex as a divorce. However, any Minnesota resident who is considering filing for a legal separation may want to speak to a divorce attorney in order to find out all of the issues that must be resolved during the process.

Source: divorcesource.com, "Minnesota Legal Separation," Accessed Feb. 7, 2016

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