When Is Legal Separation Appropriate?

Many people have religious or moral objections to divorce. There are also married couples who find they need a break from each other to relieve stress in the home but who do not want to seek a permanent change. In such situations, legal separation may be the solution.

The primary difference between a legal separation and a divorce in Colorado is the possibility that the couple may reunite. Thus, individuals who are legally separated may not remarry unless and until they are divorced.

Legal separation has advantages beyond simply living apart:

  • It provides a structure for parenting time and child support issues to be decided
  • Property and debts will be divided
  • Spousal support obligations will be determined
  • Spouses are not bound by the actions or contracts signed by the other
  • One party can obtain a court order if the other is not complying with support or custody orders

What The Process Looks Like

The process for obtaining a legal separation is identical to that of a divorce except you will be issued a decree of legal separation instead of a decree of dissolution of marriage.

Either party can then later ask the court to grant a divorce by converting the decree of legal separation to a decree of dissolution of marriage. The court will grant this request any time six months or more after the legal separation is granted, as long as notice is given to the other spouse.

If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney to help with a legal separation, please contact the Lakewood law office of Diane S. Freed, P.C., or call 303-500-8865 to schedule an appointment.


An annulment can be sought for a number of reasons, including that a marriage that was entered into fraudulently or that one of the parties was unable to consent to the marriage. Annulments usually occur when the marriage has lasted for only a short period of time, and there are no children or significant shared assets.

When you seek an annulment, you are requesting that the court declare your marriage invalid. Some individuals feel that divorce carries a stigma and would rather their marriage be annulled. Others prefer an annulment because it will allow them to remarry in their church (for example, the Roman Catholic Church).

If you're interested in this option, it's important to act on it as soon as possible.

Whether you are ready to move ahead with legal separation or seek to annul your marriage, contact the Lakewood law office of Diane S. Freed, P.C. We provide caring, compassionate assistance. Call our lawyer at 303-500-8865.