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Legal Separation vs. Divorce: Understanding the Difference

by | Jun 4, 2015 | Firm News

How are divorce and legal separation different?

The main element that distinguishes the legal separation from divorce is that in legal separation the couple opts to live separately but then they remain legally married. In case of divorce there is a complete understanding between the parties that they want the dissolution of their marriage.

What does legal separation and divorces settlement agreement includes?

The settlement agreements that are issued in case of legal separation and divorce are much more similar. In case of a divorce or dissolution of marriage spouses file up for a divorce which involves dividing up the assets and debts, custody of children and it also covers the child support and maintenance issues. In the end the court declares them not to be legally married.

Whereas the agreement and the issues that are covered in legal separation are much more similar to that of the divorce but then at the end of the complete procedure they still remain legally married to each other. But then in both the cases only the court reserves the right to release the decree regarding the custody of the child, child support and alimony.

Prefer to go for a legal separation instead of divorce?

Legal separation is a much preferred option among the couples who are going through a rough phase in their married life rather than filing for a divorce. Following are the things that proves to be beneficial for the parties when they decide to go for legal separation:

  • If the parties opt for a legal separation then the spouse still qualify for the family coverage plan that was opted by them for health insurance.
  • When the party’s application for a divorce is accepted by the court then both of them have to file for a separate tax return, which is not in the case of legal separation.
  • One of the reason because of which couples go for a legal separation is because of the religious beliefs. They may under their religious beliefs feels that the divorce is not an appropriate option.
  • Couples even go for a legal separation because this may buy them some time apart and provide a second chance to their marriage.
  • Legal separation can be proven to be beneficial for couples if any of the spouses is receiving any kind of benefits through their government services.
  • Legal separation is also a preferred option if both the party’s accept the fact that the division of their responsibilities and the debts will not be a stressful job, and going for a divorce agreement can be completely avoided.
  • Legal separation agreement can also be converted into a divorce one if the party’s think that they want to have a legally separate life.

It is always advisable to consult an experienced divorce attorney before applying for a judicial separation or a divorce as they are the ones who are dealing with such kind of issues on a daily basis and can give a more realistic advice considering the individual’s situation.