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What are the differences between legal separation and divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2020 | Divorce, Family Law |

If you are having marital troubles and are considering divorce, you are not alone. While Bloomberg notes that recent divorce rates are dropping due to the way the millennial generation is approaching marriage, many couples are still divorcing or separating. Legal separation can be an alternative to divorce, especially if you want to take time to explore your options before you choose to file.

A legal separation is one recognized by the court when you and your spouse choose to live apart. While you will remain legally married, the court may assist you with the division of property and child custody issues. There are several reasons you might choose this course, such as if you do not want your spouse to lose medical benefits or filing your taxes jointly offers you a larger refund. If you choose to try and reconcile with your spouse after a period of time, being legally separated can make it simpler to continue the marriage as opposed to divorce.

If you and your spouse cannot make your marriage work, even if you are living apart, then you both might consider a divorce. Unlike a legal separation, divorce officially ends the marriage and most spousal rights and benefits are terminated. As with a legal separation, you will likely have to appear in court to have the divorce recognized and to also set up child support and alimony payments.

Legal separation and divorce can offer both you and your spouse different options and avenues for the future. No matter which you choose, it can be important to do so carefully and consider what impact that choice will have on your life.