From table to bed. Or from bed to board. “A mensa et thoro.” Latin. Meaning legal separation.
A legal separation means the following things in American:
- A separation physically between partners in a marriage.
- A possible allocation between resources for children.
- A chance for those that are married to work out their differences while living physically separated.
“A mensa et thoro” has numerous legal advantages for a couple considering a divorce. First, in courts that are tough to get a divorce hearing, a legal separation means they have an automatic court date. It also shows the judge that they are serious about the divorce and carefully considered it.
A legal separation, issued typically through a court order, allows the couple to live apart without the potential of being prosecuted for desertion. Desertion (or abandonment) in this case is considered “abandonment of family,” where the partner within the married couple who decided to live separately can be looked at as abandoning their responsibilities of husband or wife.
This can be looked at as “malicious abandonment.” This can result in being brought to court and be looked at as grounds for divorce.
Another reason a person may choose to file for separation is the alleged physical, emotional, or verbal abuse that is taking place within the home. The separation in this case allows the person who is being abused to seek refuge in another physical location without being brought to court for desertion.
The person being abused in this case can gain some distance, still have some custody over the children, and possibly recollect about whether to file for a full divorce.
In any case of separation, the separation does not remove the binding law of marriage from the couple. They may not remarry at this point. It gives distance between the couple. In some cases, a separation may allow them to reconcile their differences, whether they are monetary, due to some kind of misbehavior, or another kind of issue.
In cases of legal separation in the United States, the issues of child custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets may be addressed. In this case, a law firm might help an individual to gain the expertise they need and representation they need to get what they feel is the right amount of money, custody, or support.
A lawyer, for instance a divorce lawyer, should be well-versed in child custody law and can help individuals acquire the custody they need.
In all cases, it’s important to be strongly represented in a court case, whether that court case is a legal separation or a full divorce filing. There are many statistics surrounding divorce rates, so here are three:
- More than 1 million children are involved in divorce proceedings every year.
- In the United States, there are about 876,000 divorces every year. That means there is a divorce happening every 36 seconds.
- 41% of first marriages, 60% of second marriages, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.
Legal separation law is important. A lawyer who is well-versed in legal separation law can give you what you feel you need from the separation proceedings, which may include joint issues such as child custody, division of assets, and alimony. Knowing legal separation law yourself can keep you educated about the possibilities and the process.
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