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Legal separation conditions prove complex in Virginia

When your marriage starts to fall apart, you might start to consider a divorce. For some people, making the step to filing for divorce is a bit too final. You might decide that you want to test the waters, so to speak, in an effort to see how things will be if you and your spouse are separated. In Virginia, you have the option to file for legal separation.

There are some special conditions that must be met in the state if you want to file for a legal separation. One of these is that you must not cohabitate with your spouse. This can be done by one spouse moving out of the home and setting up a separate residence.

Just like in the movie "War of the Roses," one spouse moving might not be practical. Virginia does have provisions for these situations so that spouses can share a residence if other conditions of the separation are met. One of the important factors when this type of separate but sharing a residence situations occurs is that a third party has to verify that you and your spouse meet the requirement for "separation under the same roof" in Virginia.

Even if you and your spouse aren't living in the same home, going through a legal separation has a host of considerations. Understanding how Virginia legal separation laws pertain to your situation can help you ensure that your rights are respected and that you are meeting your legal responsibilities when dealing with child custody, property division, alimony and other aspects of a legal separation.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal Separation vs. Divorce" Aug. 28, 2014

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