Legal Separation versus Divorce

My brother and his wife have been separated for over a year now. He was served with legal separation papers and they have a court hearing coming up. But, he wants a divorce. What does he do??

He needs to inform the judge that he wants to convert the Petition for Legal Separation to a Divorce.

Rights of Legally Separated Spouse

MY QUESTION IS MY BROTHER HAD GOTTEN MARRIED IN 2001 THEN RIGHT BEFORE THE YEAR THEY GOT LEGALLY SEPARATED I CANT FIND ANY DOCUMENT ON THAT BUT THEY DO NOT WANT TO GET DIVORCED. MY BROTHER HAS A GIRL FRIEND AND NOW HIS REAL WIFE WANT TO VISIT HIM IN JAIL BUT HIS GIRL SAID NO DO HIS ORIGINAL WIFE STILL HAVE RIGHTS?

Assuming your brother is still legally married, yes, his wife still has rights. Her right to visit him in prison however, is contingent on the visitation rules of the prison. Normally, a person’s right to visit a prisoner has nothing to do with whether or not they are married, are an ex-wife, current girl friend or someone answering a personal ad.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

What are the benefits to being legally separated vs. divorced?

Some people aren’t sure that they want to be divorced, but want to resolve all financial and custody issues. A legal separation would establish those legal rights and obligations without being legally divorced. Some people really do want to be divorced but can’t because of religious reasons or the necessity of retaining health insurance coverage.

Changing Legal Separation to Divorce

If I get legally separated, then later decide to turn it into a divorce, do we need to re-litigate all of the property, financial and custody issues?

No, the separation agreement which would be in place as a result of the legal separation, will be the same agreement which governs in the event of a divorce.

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