For some people, the thought getting divorced is much too stressful on the family, so they choose not to jump into it right away. It is not uncommon for couples to remain separated for many years by choice. Legal separation is chosen over divorce for religious reasons, to maintain health coverage for a spouse, or to qualify for the Social Security death benefit.
Every state in the union have different laws which are unique to their state regarding legal separation and divorce. There is still quite a bit of confusion about separation vs. divorce. If you are separating or divorcing, are you wondering which way to go? Here are some of the key facts that differentiate separation and divorce.
Getting legally separated can be an alternative to annulment or divorce because it satisfies all of the legal aspects of a divorce without dissolving the marriage. These include child support, property division and spousal maintenance. However, while legally separated, they can still be eligible for family health insurance, pensions, Social Security and military benefits.
For individuals who want to remarry, separation will not work. Since the parties are still legally married, neither of them will be allowed to remarry.
Legal separation is not a simpler option than divorce, since it requires all the same decisions to be made about custody, child support and division of property. However, it is a lot faster to executive than a divorce because there is no 90-day statutory waiting period with a separation.
When considering legal separation vs. divorce, remember that the same terms used in your separation agreement can be transferred over to a divorce decree. The only requirement is a six month waiting period between the time of the separation and the issuance of a divorce decree.
If you are seeking a divorce or legal separation a Family Law/Divorce Attorney can help you draw up the documents required for a legal separation or divorce to ensure that all laws are being adhered to.
- Matthew Clawson is an attorney at Clawson & Clawson, LLP. He strives to deliver first-rate legal services quickly, efficiently, and aggressively in Personal Injury Law, Family Law and Criminal Law. He is dedicated to the philosophy that the most effective and cost-efficient legal services are provided by attorneys who maintain their integrity and communicate honestly with clients.