In recent times the idea of legal separation has become quite common. In this article, I will explain the features of legal separation and how it differs from a divorce. Understanding these two terms and their implications will help the public make better decisions in related circumstances.
A legal separation is an agreement between a couple which is recognized by the court. It acknowledges their decision to live apart from each other, in different homes or cities for a period. In the case of a legal separation, the couple remains legally married. Before granting a legal separation, the court receives an agreement prepared by the legal separation attorneys representing the couple with their consent. This agreement defines the features of the legal separation such as arrangements regarding the welfare of children (if any), financial support from either spouse, plans regarding property, or other areas that concern their lives.
Now let’s point out how legal separation is different from a divorce. In the case of divorce, the court legally dissolves the marriage, it longer exists. The two individuals are not bound by the laws of marriage to be responsible for each other in any way.
You can get a divorce if you observe a behavior of your partner that you cannot tolerate anymore. People seek for divorce for reasons such as infidelity, domestic abuse, substance abuse, and many other reasons. However, there are some cases where the couple needs to live separately but may lose some benefits if they get a divorce.
Legal separation is the solution in such a case. While living apart, the couple will gain benefits of being married. For example, in some professions such as the military, you can lose significant benefits by getting a divorce. It is, therefore, a good idea to get a legal separation to live apart but retain the status of being married. Other cases such as insurance benefits for medical reasons, or financial dependence may compel couples to choose the option of legal separation instead of a divorce.
There are also cases where the couple may be willing to reconsider coming back together after a while. If they are not sure about proceeding to get a divorce, which is final, some couples choose to get a legal separation agreement until they make up their minds about the future.
After legally separating from your partner, you may choose to retain that status for as long as you want. However, if you meet another person over time and choose to get married again, you will have to proceed with a divorce.
It is important to note that every situation related to divorce or separation is different. While these terms can be generally defined, you need to consult with an experienced attorney. At this consultation, your legal separation attorney will listen to your case, assess the options and provide legal counsel tailored to your particular case.
Do you need to speak with a legal separation attorney? Call our lines to schedule a consultation.