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FAQ

Do I need a legal document to be separated?

No. Separation begins whenever the husband and wife begin living separately, in two households (actual separation), or living separately in the same household (constructive separation), and at least one party has the intent that the separation will be permanent and will ultimately lead to divorce.

Can we live separately in the same house?

Yes, but you will be required to demonstrate, through information that you and your witness provide, that while you remained living in the home together, you: 

  • Established and maintained intent to separate permanently or indefinitely.
  • Have separate bedrooms.
  • Have no romantic or sexual intimacy.
  • Stop wearing wedding rings.
  • Each shop for your own food, prepare own meals; neither shops for the other as to any categories of items (clothing other necessities, etc.)
  • Do not use the other spouse's food or other purchases.
  • Do not eat meals together (exception: holidays or children's birthdays).
  • Are is responsible for caring for each of your own space within the home, such as bedroom.
  • Each do your own laundry.
  • Establish separate checking accounts.
  • Cease socializing (e.g., do not attend parties, movies, theater, etc., together).
  • Do not attend church together.
  • Interact as parents (when there are minor children) only where strictly necessary from the children's perspective and their well-being; e.g., it would be acceptable for the parents to go together to a meeting with a school official relative to problems confronting a particular child, but less appropriate for the parents to ride together and sit together at a child's school play or soccer game.
  • Cease gift-giving between spouses for such occasions as birthdays, Christmas, anniversary, Valentine's Day, etc.
  • Make known to close associates, relatives, etc., that the parties are martially separated within the residence, though continuing to reside under the same roof.
  • Have a third party come to the home from time to time to personally observe the two spouses' separate and distinct living quarters (bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.).
  • Utilize separate entrances to residence, if feasible.
  • Be prepared to explain reason(s) for effecting separation under same roof (e.g., financial considerations; unavailability of successor residence,; to ease children's transition to parental separation; etc.).

If you and your spouse are considering cohabitation during a legal separation or divorce, the above list will give you an idea of what "Separation Under the Same Roof" entails.

Call 703.279.5140

Evening and weekend appointments are available under certain circumstances
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What Our Clients Say

I felt she (Catherine Reese) met and exceeded all expectation.

Separation and Divorce

Are you or your spouse considering a separation?

If so, there is a lot to consider before you make any decisions or take any action. Regardless of who makes the decision, both spouses will be affected, as well as your family members. It is advisable that you seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible.

You may have to make short-term decisions pertaining to:

Equally stressful is the division of assets and liabilities so that neither party's credit is harmed and there are assets left to be divided if a divorce is, in fact, imminent.

Ultimately, permanent decisions will be made by you, with or without the help of a neutral mediator or by the Court about custodial arrangements, child support, spousal support, the division of assets and division of liabilities.

Things you should change after a separation and/or divorce

(Changes should be made pursuant to a written agreement or Court Order)

  • Power of Attorneys
  • Wills
  • Beneficiaries
  • HIPPA Forms
  • Medical Authorizations
  • Property Titles
  • W-4 Withholdings
  • Deeds
  • Social Security, ID Cards, Driver's license, military ID cards, passports, etc. (if you changed your name and/or address)
  • Children's school records
  • Security alarm information
  • Passwords
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FAQ

Do I need a legal document to be separated?

No. Separation begins whenever the husband and wife begin living separately, in two households (actual separation), or living separately in the same household (constructive separation), and at least one party has the intent that the separation will be permanent and will ultimately lead to divorce.

Can we live separately in the same house?

Yes, but you will be required to demonstrate, through information that you and your witness provide, that while you remained living in the home together, you: 

  • Established and maintained intent to separate permanently or indefinitely.
  • Have separate bedrooms.
  • Have no romantic or sexual intimacy.
  • Stop wearing wedding rings.
  • Each shop for your own food, prepare own meals; neither shops for the other as to any categories of items (clothing other necessities, etc.)
  • Do not use the other spouse's food or other purchases.
  • Do not eat meals together (exception: holidays or children's birthdays).
  • Are is responsible for caring for each of your own space within the home, such as bedroom.
  • Each do your own laundry.
  • Establish separate checking accounts.
  • Cease socializing (e.g., do not attend parties, movies, theater, etc., together).
  • Do not attend church together.
  • Interact as parents (when there are minor children) only where strictly necessary from the children's perspective and their well-being; e.g., it would be acceptable for the parents to go together to a meeting with a school official relative to problems confronting a particular child, but less appropriate for the parents to ride together and sit together at a child's school play or soccer game.
  • Cease gift-giving between spouses for such occasions as birthdays, Christmas, anniversary, Valentine's Day, etc.
  • Make known to close associates, relatives, etc., that the parties are martially separated within the residence, though continuing to reside under the same roof.
  • Have a third party come to the home from time to time to personally observe the two spouses' separate and distinct living quarters (bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.).
  • Utilize separate entrances to residence, if feasible.
  • Be prepared to explain reason(s) for effecting separation under same roof (e.g., financial considerations; unavailability of successor residence,; to ease children's transition to parental separation; etc.).

If you and your spouse are considering cohabitation during a legal separation or divorce, the above list will give you an idea of what "Separation Under the Same Roof" entails.

Call 703.279.5140

Evening and weekend appointments are available under certain circumstances
quotebegin

What Our Clients Say

I felt she (Catherine Reese) met and exceeded all expectation.