Understanding the Difference between Legal Separation and Divorce

You have decided that you don’t want to live with your spouse, but are unable to make up your mind about getting a divorce. This is when you can consider going for a legal separation. This separation bears a strong resemblance to divorce in the sense that you will have to negotiate visitation, child custody and child support, the division of properly and spousal support. You will live separately from your spouse after a legal separation, but unlike divorce, you will still be married to each other legally. A number of people are unable to understand the difference between the two situations.

All you need to know is the key difference between a divorce and a legal separation; when you are separated, you can live apart, but legally, you will still be regarded as a married individual. Later on, if you decide to get a divorce, you will have to follow the legal steps that are necessary for terminating a marriage. Whether you opt for a separation agreement NC or anywhere else, there are several reasons why a lot of people consider this option. Some of the top ones are outlined below:

  • You or your spouse may not want to consider a divorce due to moral or religious reasons.
  • Choosing to get legally separated instead of divorced enables one spouse to be eligible for the government benefits of the other such as Social Security.
  • If you choose to remain married, the spouse will also be eligible for getting the other’s healthcare or insurance benefits.
  • The couple can enjoy tax benefits if they choose to stay married to each other.
  • Sometimes, opting for a marital legal separation is a good idea if you believe that you and your spouse might reconcile after living apart for a while.
  • In some cases, couples have no other choice, but to file a legal separation agreement because they are not eligible to file for a divorce under the residency requirements of their state. A court-sanctioned legal agreement is a reasonable solution during this waiting period as issues can be settled during this time.
  • Some couples simply find it less stressful to negotiate a martial separation agreement than a divorce agreement.

If you decide to stay married to each other in order to take advantage of the Social Security or health insurance benefits of the other spouse, don’t forget to go over the fine print. There are different rules applicable for various states, which means that a Massachusetts Separation Agreement may not be the same one as that in Virginia.

If you are not familiar with the laws applicable in this situation, it might be better for you to hire a divorce attorney. They will be able to guide you about the pros and cons of divorce and legal separation and the steps that need to be followed in each process. You can also talk to an accountant or financial planner for understanding and discussing the financial ramifications of legal separation and divorce before making a decision.