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The Difference Between a Legal Separation and Divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2018 | Divorce |


A divorce and a legal separation are both ways provided by the court to keep you and your spouse separate. A legal separation enables you to live separately with your spouse but doesn’t end the marriage unlike in a divorce. During the legal separation responsibilities and the rights of each partner is clearly outlined. If you opt for a legal separation, it’s best that consult the family lawyer on how to go about it.

What is the Difference Between a Divorce and Legal Separation

The basic difference between a divorce and separation is that a divorce signifies the end of marriage while a legal separation doesn’t mean it’s the end.

Legal Separation

All the issues that may arise during a divorce will also come up during a separation. If there are children involved the court decides on the who has custody and the support plan. Issues such as division of assets, debts, spouse support, visitation schedule, and children custody are addressed.

A legal separation will help you deal with the situation before the divorce is finalized. The legal separation will help protect your interest until the divorce is decided. It’s important that you ensure you work with a high asset divorce lawyer during the legal separation to ensure that you are well taken care of before the divorce proceedings come up.

What Happens during Divorce after a Legal Separation

When a divorce happens after separation, the judge assumes that both parties are satisfied with the agreements made during the separation and they are carried over to the divorce. You need to work with the best divorce lawyer during the legal separation to ensure that all your needs are catered.

If you feel the terms of the legal separation are not workable then your divorce lawyer will need to petition the court to come up with a new agreement. The legal separation will help you know what works and what doesn’t work.

Advantages of Legal Separation

Both the divorce and legal separation have a lot in common. Below are the advantages of a legal separation

  • Gives couples time apart to make a final decision apart

It gives the couples time apart to decide whether they want a divorce. A legal separation will ensure that you have time to cool and think about what you want. During the separation, you can decide to go for counseling to avert the divorce.

  • Benefit Retention

During the legal separation, you still have access to the medical benefits and other benefits that would end if the divorce happened. If you don’t have a source of income or you are financially unstable legal separation is the best option. The separation period gives you time to work on your finances before the divorce can happen. If your spouse is in the military, a legal separation will enable you to enjoy the benefits.

  • Preserve your religious beliefs

If you believe doesn’t allow you to divorce you can maintain your marriage but live in separate places with your spouse.

  • Makes the divorce process easy

A legal separation is converted into a divorce, and that makes the process easier. That will save both parties time and money

How to File for a Legal Separation

A legal separation is as binding as divorce, and it’s therefore important to work with the best divorce lawyer. If you are in the military work with the best military divorce lawyer to ensure the best.

The agreements made during the legal separation may set precedence during the divorce, and it’s important to understand the agreements made. Make sure that everything in the legal separation works for you

Visit the divorce lawyer, and they will advise on residency requirement that you need to fulfill

The high rated divorce lawyer will draft the petition, and it’s important that you understand all the aspects.

After the agreement is ready, then your lawyer will file the legal separation. Make sure that all aspects are covered. You will need to serve your spouse with the legal separation petition.

If your partner disagrees with the petition, they will counter the petition.

Once both sides agree with on petition make sure you keep a copy. The judge will review the petition and agrees to the petition. You can live separately

A legal separation gives both partners time to rethink the decision you are making. It’s best to work with the high asset divorce lawyer to get the best out of the legal separation.