Key Differences Between Divorce and Legal Separation

legal separation

Dissolving a marriage involves stages and the first stage is usually legal separation. Next step would be divorce. If the couple decides to go through these stages, they should know the basic differences between them.

Legal Divorce

If the couple cannot go on with the marriage because of their differences and conflict, they may resort to pushing through with legal divorce in the state where they reside. When one spouse happens to have moved to a different state, the spouses should decide which state in which to divorce. A lawyer, divorce documents, and a plan to go through the process are required to begin the legal divorce steps. It usually takes longer to conclude a divorce when there are property, children, and debts. An ADR (alternate divorce resolution) could help the situation. The divorce lawyer will elaborate on the best options.

Legal Separation

When a married couple decides to discontinue their marriage, they can choose to separate the legal way before finally ending it. The couple could file separation legally, contact a lawyer, or get in touch with the courts. The couple could also prefer to have the matter brought to the court and present it to the judge to make sure that the entire process is legal before they move on. The separation involves dividing the household into two different locations. It also separates properties and income. Even so, the marriage is still valid, and the situation usually leads to child custody confrontations until the divorce process begins.

The Differences

Legal divorce:

• The couple is not married anymore when this concludes
• The marriage dissolves in the state where the process starts and ends.

Legal separation:

• The first stage before a divorce
• The couple is still married
• May live in different households

Why There are Couples Who Just Remain Separated

Here are some reasons couples have for remaining separated and not going through a divorce:

• Religion. The couple’s faith may not support divorce at all or it may not allow either spouse to remarry.
• Social security
• Insurance
• Tax Benefits
• A chance of reconciliation

It is always best to hire an experienced lawyer before starting either process. Knowing and understanding what the steps are will make the process easier and smoother for both parties.

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