Separation vs. Divorce

When a married couple is having problems, they might attempt to find a resolution through one of several different ways, some of which may include splitting up. However, if you and your spouse are ready to go your separate ways, divorce isn’t your only option. In fact, for some couples, getting a divorce might not be the best decision at all, which is why anyone contemplating a divorce should consider the advantages of a legal separation.

Find out how a separation and divorce differ and discover which option is best for your situation.

What is a Legal Separation?

A legal separation allows married couples to live apart for an extended period of time without officially ending their marriage. Even though they will still be legally married, each spouse will be free to live his or her own life independent of the other. A legal separation still allows both parties to establish certain legal arrangements, like child custody, spousal support, and property division, which can make the split more feasible and legally binding.

How Does a Separate Differ from a Divorce?

A divorce also allows couples to establish legal rights and responsibilities through child support, spousal support, property division, and other court orders. However, unlike a legal separation, a divorce effectively ends the marriage. When a couple divorces, they are completely disentangled from one another and are free to remarry, whereas separated couples cannot remarry.

Deciding Which is Right For You

There are several different reasons why some couples choose to separate rather than divorce, including religious convictions, insurance benefits, and personal reasons. Some people may legally separate as a precursor to divorce so that they can see how their lives work independently before they take the plunge and effectively end their marriage. The benefit here is that, if you file for divorce after already being legally separated, you can use some of your legal agreements, (like child custody and property division), without having to rehash it all again.

In other scenarios, couples use a separation in order to gain some perspective and distance in hopes that they can make their marriage work later on down the line.

For other couples, a legal separation may seem like an unnecessary pit stop. If you are both sure you are ready to dissolve your marriage, legal separation might not be the best choice for you.

Whatever you decide, our attorney is prepared to help. Contact Empire Law to discuss your divorce or legal separation with our Yonkers family lawyer.