Legal Separation Forms

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Legal separation is a golden mean between being married in an undesirable marriage and a bitter divorce. The spouses can be legally separated and yet reap all the benefits of being married. In 41 states, legal separation is a pre-requisite for a divorce.

It is an ideal arrangement for the couples who want to settle the important marital issues and yet don't want to end their marriage for religious as well as financial reasons.

Legal separation forms are used by the couples who have reached a mutual arrangement regarding all the marital issues such as child custody and visitation, child support and alimony, rights of the non-custodial parent, financial issues such as insurance coverage, tax benefits etc.

In case of a mutual agreement, there is no need to consult a lawyer and one can use free legal separation forms to file for a legal separation and make the separation agreement official.

Legal Separation Forms:

Generally, legal separation forms are available on the official website of the concerned state. However, there are many websites available which provide printer friendly forms which you can print out and fill directly. Be careful while downloading these forms form the websites except the official website. Make sure you look for the word 'free' while downloading these forms from any other website instead of the official one.

These forms are easy to understand and in a format which is easy to fill up. Some forms are in the 'fill in the blanks' format where you have to fill the blanks and your form is complete after you sign it.

These forms are used for simple separation agreement where there are no conflicts regarding the marital issues. However, each couple is unique and their situation cannot be identical to another couple. Hence, it is always advisable to choose the forms which are suitable to the condition of the couple.

Reasons for Legal Separation:

  • Adultery or Extra-marital Affair's - Having multiple sexual partners or romantic relationships while being married to a spouse amounts to adultery.
  • Bigamy or Cheating - Being married to a person while getting married to the current spouse amounts to bigamy which is illegal in the USA. Cheating constitutes lying during the marriage.
  • Consanguinity - If the couple realizes that they are close blood relatives of each other, they can file for legal separation.
  • Imprisonment for Conviction of Felony - Conviction of a spouse of felony and the imprisonment or incarceration in the mental asylum for more that three years is a firm base for a legal separation.
  • Willful Desertion or Abandonment - Staying apart immediately after marriage for at least a year amounts to willful desertion and abandonment.
  • Mental Instability - If a spouse is found to be mentally unstable and resorts to unreasonable behavior, the other spouse can file for legal separation.
  • Impotency - Inability to consummate marriage due to hidden sexual orientation, addiction or any other reason on part of the respondent amounts to impotency as a basis for legal separation.
  • Abuse - Physical as well as mental abuse is strongly condemned by the courts. Hitting, locking the spouse up, not letting live their own life, denying basic needs, etc. amount to abuse in general.
  • Substance Abuse - Addiction to drugs, alcohol or even habitual intake of medicines is regarded as substance abuse and the petitioner can get a legal separation on the same grounds.
  • Neglect - Desertion, inability to support the spouse, provide the basic necessities such as shelter, food or education is termed as neglect and legal separation can be files on this ground.
  • Fraud - If a spouse is found guilty of fraud, the other spouse can file for legal separation on the same ground.
  • Cruelty and Inhuman Treatment - Denying sexual relations for a long time, mental torture, locking up the partner, not allowing them to meet the children, locking the spouse out of the house all amount to the cruelty and inhuman treatment.
Legal separation is a softer option than divorce and reconciliation always remains an option. Some couples decide to give their marriage a chance after going for a trial separation. However, in some states, legal separation has to lead to the divorce after a year or the court does not recognize the couple as legally separated.

Legal separation forms for a couple vary according to the reason the petitioner has mentioned while filing for legal separation. Besides, for the states who do not recognize legal separation, it is important to fill out proper forms in order to sort the financial as well as family issues according to the convenience of the couple and their children.

Free Legal Separation Forms:

Free legal separation forms are available on the official website of the state and you can download them for free. These forms are user friendly and easy to fill. There is a 'Live Chat' facility available on these websites where you can ask your queries and clear your doubts before filling and filing the forms for legal separation.

Feel free to register your doubts and take legal assistance if necessary.

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