If you’ve reached the point in your marriage when you’re considering life without your partner, it might make sense to separate. Not every couple is destined to last forever, and filing for a divorce or separation isn’t the end of your life. Instead, a divorce or separation may be the best answer for your life moving forward.
But how do you know if which separation option to take? Keep reading to learn more about the differences between legal separation vs divorce.
A legal separation states that a couple no longer wishes to remain together but are not quite ready to proceed with divorce proceedings. But, despite filing a legal separation status with the court system, you are still legally married in the eyes of the law.
Just like with a divorce, you and your partner will agree on separation matters during the court process. This includes the division of assets, child custody, and living arrangements.
So what are the benefits of legal separation vs divorce? With a legal separation, you can still receive all the benefits that a married couple has, such as tax or health insurance benefits.
Another big difference between the two is that you cannot remarry after simply a legal separation. If you wish to marry someone else, you must proceed with a divorce.
You’re probably more familiar with a divorce. This is when you go through court proceedings to legally end your marriage. Once your divorce proceedings are finalized, your legally single again.
Divorce proceedings are typically a little more intense than legal separation. During this process, every aspect of your life is separated from your partner, especially when it comes to finances. No longer can you reap the benefits of marriage.
Since both processes involve court proceedings, it may make more financial sense to go straight to a divorce. Instead of going through the process twice, the divorce proceedings will go through every aspect of legal separation and end the marriage.
If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to be legally separated vs divorced, there are other alternatives available. The most popular include a trial separation or annulment.
A trial separation is the personal choice to no longer remain a couple. But instead of involving the courts, this agreement remains informal until both parties are sure they want a divorce. This allows the couple to get back together if they choose to.
An annulment is much harder to receive. With an annulment, the marriage is erased and to the courts, it never happened. To qualify for an annulment, typically the marriage was granted as fraudulent from the begining.
Know that you know the difference between and the benefits of legal separation vs divorce, it’s time to choose which option is best for you.
Legal separation is best for those who may still rely on the benefits that marriage provides. If you’re officially done with your partner and want to cut all ties to them, you should opt for a divorce. If neither of these appeals to you, you may look into a trial separation or an annulment.
Do you have children involved in the marriage? If so, head to the child custody section of this site to see how you should handle that aspect of your divorce or separation.