Reversing A Legal Separation
A legal separation is one of the four common types of separation that couples can choose as an alternative to divorce. While a legal separation shares many of the same aspects as an actual divorce, it is not the same thing. And even though most couples who legally separate do end up getting a divorce at some point, some couples reconcile. When that happens they need to go through the process of reversing a legal separation.
Steps For Reversing A Legal Separation
In order to reverse a legal separation, there are several steps that must be completed before the legal separation can be officially undone.
1) Get Spousal Consent
While it may sound obvious, it’s important that both spouses agree and want to reverse their legal separation. A reversal cannot be completed if only one spouse wishes to undo their legal separation.
2) Obtain Order Of Legal Separation
When a couple legally separates, they are given copies of their Order of Legal Separation. This is an official legal document that confirms their status as legally separated. To reverse their separation, couples must have an official copy of this document.
If neither spouse has retained a copy of this order, one can be obtained from the clerk of the family court where they filed for legal separation originally.
3) Draft a Motion to Vacate Order of Legal Separation
A motion, in legal terms, is basically a request that is made to the court about a particular issue. In order to reverse a legal separation, a couple needs to file a motion asking the court to review their request for reversal.
4) Draft an Order to Vacate Order of Legal Separation
An Order to Vacate Order of Legal Separation is a legal document that, in essence, says “Please undo the original legal separation.” It can be attached with the Motion to Vacate Order of Legal Separation.
5) File Everything With The Clerk
The final step is to file the Motion and Order to Vacate with the clerk of the family court where the legal separation was filed. Include a copy of the original Order of Legal Separation when filing. A filing fee is due at the time of filing, which must be paid before a motion will be accepted.
Getting Help From An Attorney
While it may sound fairly straightforward, there are a lot of potential pitfalls that couples may run into if they try to go through the process without the help of an attorney.
If any of the required legal documentation is incorrect, the court will reject it and the couple will have to start over. The best option is to work with an experienced family law attorney who can create the necessary documents and file them with the appropriate court personnel on behalf of the couple who want to reverse their legal separation.
At Vonder Haar Law, we routinely deal with matters like these. Not only can we help guide couples through the process, but we can also suggest helpful alternatives and make recommendations so that both parties are happy with whatever outcome is desired.
To get help, please request a free consultation with us today.
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