What are the Best Sources for Legal Separation Advice?

Jessica Ellis

Legal separation can be both an emotionally stressful and mentally confusing process. Spouses who are already unsure of whether their marriage will end in divorce or reconciliation are sometimes forced into positions as adversaries as they try to ensure a fair division of assets and responsibilities during the period of separation. Finding good sources of legal separation advice can make a great deal of difference in the initial and ongoing process. There are many excellent ways to find legal separation advice; what works best will depend on the circumstances of each individual involved.

Family law attorneys often deal with issues of child custody or support.
Family law attorneys often deal with issues of child custody or support.

There are many books available on the process of separation and strategies for creating agreements. These can be great sources of legal separation advice, as many books detail the specific laws that apply as well as provide options for drafting settlements. Some books are issued for individual states or regions, to better help couples deal with the specific laws that guide separation in their place of residency. These books are usually available in the legal section of a bookstore, online, or in libraries.

For some couples, legal separation is a viable alternative to divorce.
For some couples, legal separation is a viable alternative to divorce.

In cases with complicated considerations, or those made more difficult by an uncooperative spouse, a legal professional may be the best source of legal separation advice. Family law attorneys are typically quite knowledgeable about applicable laws, and can help put an end to the threatening and blustering that sometimes comes with an antagonistic situation. Attorneys can help fill out documents and can offer good judgment as to whether a proffered separation settlement is both fair and legal. In addition to offering legal separation advice, lawyers can also help craft divorce documents if a marriage becomes irreparable.

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The county clerk or a similar court official may be a good source of legal separation advice. These workers generally are available at local courthouses during normal business hours, and can point people toward the correct forms. Clerks can often help by explaining the basic procedure of a legal separation, and may have lists of resources for additional help. In most areas, clerks are not licensed to serve as advisers and cannot give legal advice, but as a basic source of information they are often very helpful.

Friends or relatives who have been through a legal separation may also be a good source of legal separation advice. Although they may not have the most comprehensive advice on legal issues, many have survived the process of separation or divorce and may have unique insight into the personal and emotional journey that lies ahead. Separation is not only a legal issue, it is typically a deeply emotional situation as well. Having supportive friends with the benefit of experience may be a good source of both advice and comfort on the road ahead.

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