Ending a marriage is not an easy thing; you need to consider so many things. And when it comes to taking this difficult decision, you have two options; either you get legally separated or get a divorce.
We can understand deciding between getting a divorce, or legal separation can be confusing. Therefore, it is essential to know both the terms well, how they differ, and their legal and emotional effects on both parties.
So, if you are going through marital problems and are not sure if you want a divorce or legal separation, this guide will help you out. Here we will discuss is it better to legally separate or divorce so that you can decide which one will be the perfect option for you. So, let’s get into this guide.
What Is A Legal Separation Agreement?
Legal separation is an arrangement where you and your spouse will be married but stay separated by following a court order. It’s almost like putting marriage on hold.
Here, you will stay apart from your spouse in a separate home, arrange custody of children, divide the properties, and end the financial connection but without terminating every legal tie.
However, still, you will be required to file a petition in your Superior or Family Division Court and get court approval to put together your legal separation agreement and approve your decision.
What Is Divorce?
A divorce will end your marriage at once, where all the legal relations between you and your spouse will come to an end. Apart from this major difference, the other processes and rules of divorce are almost similar to the legal separation.
In a divorce, you must file the paperwork, and it must be approved by the court. In order to divide the marital property and arrange the children’s custody, you need to make an agreement with your spouse and get approval from the court.
Since the two processes are quite similar to each other, there will not be much difference in cost, and it will take almost the same time for the two processes to be completed.
What Is The Difference Between Divorce And Legal Separation?
The major difference between Divorce And Legal Separation is that a legal separation mandates the rights and duties of a couple while they are living apart, but they are still married. On the other hand, in a divorce, the marriage will end forever.
However, divorce is extremely difficult to appeal, whereas; legal separation is comparatively easier. So, let’s find out the other differences between legal separation and divorce-
With a legal separation, you and your spouse will retain the marital status, which means both of you are not free from the marriage.
In contrast, divorce will end your marriage completely and allow you to remarry.
Since legal separation does not end your marriage, that means you and your spouse are considered close relatives and able to make medical or financial decisions on behalf.
As divorce puts an end to the marriage, there is no right to decide for the other party.
Debts or Liabilities
In a legal separation, the spouse will still be liable for the debts or other liabilities.
Whereas, in divorce, all the debts will be managed during the process.
Legal separation protects the legal rights of each spouse to the benefit of the property until the death of the other.
But divorce eliminates these rights altogether.
Remarriage or Reconciliation
Reconciliation after a legal separation is easy, in fact, you start staying together again if you want.
However, divorce cannot be undone, which means after the divorce, if you want a legal reunion, you need to remarry.
Health Care/Other Benefits
Legal separation allows the couple to retain the health care and other benefits, including some social security benefits, which end with divorce.
What Are The Similarities Between Legal Separation Vs. Divorce?
In many ways, a legal separation is the same as a divorce. In the proceedings for both legal separation and divorce, the court decides the following-
- Both include separation maintenance.
- Child custody,
- Child support,
- If necessary, then alimony orders.
- Family assets and debts division.
Is It Better To Legally Separate Or Divorce?
Now that you know the differences and similarities between these two, let’s find out some other reasons that will help you decide on any one option.
So, let’s see, is it better to legally separate or divorce?
Why Get A Legal Separation Instead Of A Divorce?
- When you are in a dilemma and not 100% sure about the fact that you want to end your marriage. In that case, a legal separation will give you some space to figure things out between you and your spouse, while still protecting you financially.
- Religion is one of the most common factors for couples not to choose divorce. Thus, couples who can’t leave each other due to religious reasons mostly turn to legal separation.
- If both of you have the desire to keep the family together legally, just for the sake of your children or other family members.
- When one spouse has the need for health insurance coverage from the other spouse.
- If you want to continue filing taxes jointly, to have the tax benefits.
- If you are looking to receive Social Security and military benefits from your spouse’s work, you must be married for at least 10 years.
Note: In some states, you must maintain a separation for a specific amount of time (based on the state rules) before applying for a divorce.
When Is A Divorce The Better Option?
- If there is nothing left in your marriage, you are not getting any financial benefit from legal separation, and you are sure that you want an end to your marriage, then it may be better to go for divorce directly.
- A divorce will be the best option if you are in a relationship with someone else, or you want to remarry. Because you can’t remarry while you are legally bound to your previous marriage.
- If you do not want any type of connection with your spouse like the right of making decisions for medical or financial reasons for each other. In this case, divorce is the only option for you, as you no longer have to consider next to kin.
Note: Every state doesn’t allow legal separation; as a result, you must need a divorce to end the marriage relationship and split off from your spouse entirely.
In conclusion, we have to say that legal separation and divorce include long-lasting legal consequences. Therefore, if you are considering getting a divorce or legal separation, it is crucial to contact a divorce lawyer Dublin and get legal advice.
This way, you will get to know about all your legal options. In fact, you can conveniently decide whether a legal separation or a divorce would be the better choice for you.
We hope this guide helps you to get an idea about is it better to legally separate or divorce? So, consult a lawyer and make the best decision for your future life. If you have any further questions regarding this topic, you can let us know by commenting below. Also, if you need some other suggestions, you can contact us.