How To Choose Between A Legal Separation Or Divorce

When you and your spouse are having problems that you don't believe can be resolved with marriage counselling, it is usually time to consider no longer living together. You have a few options, from getting a separation to filling for divorce. Here are some things to consider when deciding which one is the best option.

How a Legal Separation Differs From Divorce

Many people think of separation simply as living apart from their spouse pre-divorce, but it is not as simple as that. A legal separation does actually involve filing paperwork with the court, though it is less expensive and less lengthy of a process than divorce. With a legal separation, you live apart and all debts incurred during that time are yours alone. However, you still have the option to end the separation and continue living in the same household again if you opt not to get a divorce. A dissolution of marriage, or divorce, is much more final.

When a Separation is a Good Idea

If you are not yet sure what you want to do, legal separation is typically a better option. You still have the choice to change your mind later on and decide to remain married, but you get the chance to live apart and find out what is best for you and your family. Choose legal separation if you have any doubts in your mind about getting divorced. This is also a good way to save some money, since it tends to cost considerably less than a divorce.

When You Should Consider a Divorce

On the other hand, if you and your spouse have no interest in being together anymore, there is no reason to get a separation. You will likely be returning to the court at a later date to file for divorce, so you can cut out the middleman and file now for the divorce. Since some areas have a waiting period for divorce, you might not want to put it off for too long.

Trying a Trial Separation First

With a trial separation, you are living apart, but you don't file any legal paperwork. Something to remember here is that debts your spouse incurs during the separation can still be your responsibility, since the court has no record of the separation. This is a good option when you are simply having disagreements and want to see if living apart will help with those issues, but it is not a legal situation.

If you have any further questions about what to do next, consult a family lawyer.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!



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