People file for legal separation for a variety of reasons: sometimes it is it for health insurance coverage purposes, others for religious reasons, and some file because they simply are not ready for the finality of a divorce. If you have filed for and obtained a legal separation judgment you may be wondering if you can now convert it to a divorce, the answer is “yes”. There are 2 ways you can convert your legal separation action to a divorce: 1) by stipulation and 2) by filing a motion.
If you and your former spouse agree to convert your legal separation action to a divorce, a Stipulation and Order form can be filed with the court. The Stipulation can be filed at any time—there is no waiting period.
If the parties are not in agreement with converting their legal separation judgment to a divorce, one party is still able to file a motion. Unlike the Stipulation route, a party must wait one full year after they received their legal separation to file their motion. Once the motion is filed, the court typically grants the request and approves the motion.
If you wish to request a change to your legal separation judgment in any way, you must take additional steps. Sometimes what seems like a straightforward process, can be extremely overwhelming to a party. It would be best to contact our office to discuss the likelihood of a court awarding your requested change.