I am currently legally separated, but would like to file for divorce. Should I be concerned that our agreement will change?

Question:

I am currently legally separated, but would like to file for divorce. Should I be concerned that our agreement will change?

Currently I am in legal separation. Child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance are defined in the separation. Per separation decree, spousal maintenance and health insurance coverage are for 5.5 yrs. 5.5 years is up in Jun 2014. I want to get a divorce now and have no issue continuing the spousal maintenance and health insurance coverage until stated in the separation decree. Effectively, I would like to “convert” the legal separation to a dissolution immediately, while keeping all of the same terms and timelines as they are. I am concerned that my spouse will ask for more once I file for divorce. Should I be concerned? I’m thinking that I cant just “convert” to divorce. Is there a legal equivalent?

Answer:

You are right, she can request a modification of the spousal maintenance, however, she could do that at any point, regardless of rather or not you file a Petition for Dissolution. Normally, filing such a Petition does not trigger an attempt to modify the terms of the Decree of Legal Separation.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

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