What is the name of your state? SD. I have been married for almost 14 years and have worked outside of the home very little on and off. We are living separately in the same house and he is talking about legal separation in a few months because right now we could not afford to live apart. He has taken control of the money and I have no access and have to ask for every little thing. He wants me to basically be able to support myself right now. In the event of separation by him, he is unwilling to give much support. I have health issues, both physically and emotionally. My question is, can I file for legal separation and ask for spousal support while still living in the same house?
The grounds for legal separation (separate maintenance) in South Dakota are the same as for divorce. The spouse filing for legal separation must be a resident of South Dakota or a member of the Armed Forces stationed in South Dakota at the time of the filing and must remain a resident until the legal separation is final. [South Dakota Codified Laws; Title 25, Chapters 25-4-17.2 and 25-4-40].
Either spouse may be awarded maintenance for life or a shorter period. The only factor specified in the statute is a consideration of the circumstances of the spouses. South Dakota courts have interpreted this to include the following factors for consideration: (1) the duration of the marriage; (2) the ability of the spouse from whom support is sought to meet his or her needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking support; (3) the financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to such spouse and such spouse's ability to meet his or her needs independently; (4) the comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market; (5) the age of the spouses; (6) the physical and emotional conditions of the spouses; (7) the fault of the spouses during the marriage. Reasonable security may be required to guarantee the payment of maintenance. [South Dakota Codified Laws; Title 25, Chapters 25-4-42, 25-4-44, 25-4-45.1, 25-7A-20 and South Dakota Case Law].