Divorce or Legal Separation
People often wonder whether they could get a legal separation instead of a divorce. There is a mechanism for obtaining a legal separation in Wyoming, but the process is very similar to a divorce proceeding. The end result is generally a division and separation of the parties’ property, while keeping the parties legally married.
Advantages of Legal Separation
Although it is much like a divorce, a legal separation does provide some distinct advantages to couples in unique circumstances.
Maintain health insurance coverage
In many marriages, one of the spouses provides health insurance coverage through their employment to both parties. The legal separation can be used to split the parties’ property, but preserve the legal institution of marriage.
This arrangement could be useful for couples near “retirement” age, in order to maintain insurance coverage until medicare kicks in. This would normally be a temporary situation, and the parties would still need to get a divorce later.
Preserve marital assets
A legal separation could also help a couple where one of the spouses suffers from a disability that creates a potential financial liability. For instance, some people cannot control their spending, others have substance abuse issues. Some people have a diminished mental capacity, and are easily talked into signing unfair contracts. This could be a long term, or even permanent, arrangement.
Disadvantages of Legal Separation
Legal separation is controlled by W.S. Section 20-2-106. To read these statutes, click here. If you would like to see an additional topic covered here at Wyoming Divorce, please leave a question or comment here.
By Steve Harton