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Separation is the most natural entry into the divorce pool. Couples who make the decision to end their marriage often do so after trying out separation for a time. They might live apart for a few weeks or months to see how their lives are without marriage being an issue, or they might even try and work on their marriage while living apart. The old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder is true in many cases, and that’s why separation is a working solution for many couples. Other couples, however, find that separation works so well they never stop.
It’s not uncommon for couples who no longer want to be married to decide on a separation that lasts many years. They make the decision because they want to spend time apart, but they never go through with a divorce. Your marriage might be over in every way that counts but the legal aspect. You didn’t sign any papers or get an actual divorce, but you are divorced in every other way. This works for many people, but there might come a time when you’ve been separated so long you forget your married. What happens if you want to get remarried, or if you want to change your life completely after you’ve been separated for more than 10 years?
Divorce After a Decade-Long Separation
Divorce at this point is important, but it’s not always what you might expect. You’d think that after more than ten years of not being together you’d be able to get a quick divorce and get on with your life, but it really does depend. It depends on what the person you’re married to thinks, and it depends on what you have and don’t have when you decide to get a divorce.
Your ex can ask for alimony, child support, and even half of everything you own if he or she is so inclined. It’s not common when people have been self-reliant this long, but it does happen. If you want to get a divorce after a 10-year separation, it helps to talk about it ahead of time. The process works the same as it does when you’re newly separated, but it’s always helpful to discuss with your spouse your desire for a divorce.
Let them know you want to go ahead and make it official. It’s not a good idea to blindside someone after this long. Let your spouse grow accustomed to the idea, and let them figure out how to make it work in their favor. Your spouse might not want to spend his or her time married to someone else, but they might not be happy to hear that you’re getting remarried.
Talk about your assets. Do you still own things together? How will you split them up, and what is the financial situation you want to continue after this point? If you can agree on these things in advance, it might be helpful to your entire situation. The best thing you can do at this point is simply handle your situation with care.
Once it’s time to file, go to the courthouse and submit the divorce paperwork. Your spouse is served with papers, given a chance to respond to the petition, and then things go from there. You can get a divorce after a decade-long separation, but it’s going to take a little more finesse if you’ve spent a lot of time apart and suddenly realize what the legality of your divorce means for both of you. There won’t, however, be any problems in the eyes of the court. They won’t consider you unworthy of divorce even if you’ve been separated this long. The process works just like it would if you’d gotten divorced immediately after you decided to end your marriage in the first place.
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