If you and your spouse have decided that you no longer want to live together, you may find that a legal separation is a better fit for your situation than divorce. Though in casual parlance, the term “separated” might connote simply living apart while you make a final decision regarding your marriage, a legal separation is a formal, court-sanctioned process that spouses may choose to pursue for a variety of reasons.
Just like in divorce, a legal separation involves negotiation of child custody, child support, visitation, spousal support, and division of assets. It’s a significant process to go through, but you might find that it is a better option than divorce in the following circumstances:
- Religious or moral reasons prevent you from divorcing.
- Eligibility for government benefits, such as Social Security, or health insurance benefits requires that you stay legally married (though, in some cases, legal separation makes you ineligible for these benefits).
- There is a tax benefit for staying married.
- You believe there is a possibility of eventual reconciliation with your spouse.
- You desire to be financially separate from your spouse.
The main difference between a divorce and a legal separation is at the end of the process, your marriage is NOT legally terminated in a legal separation. If you and your spouse agree, you can also “undo” the legal separation and be legally married again. Though a legal separation means you will remain married to your spouse, it is still a formal agreement that should be entered into with the advice of an attorney.
Raza & Jones, LLC, focuses exclusively on representing individuals in divorces, legal separations, and other family-law matters. With a combined 30 years of experience, the attorneys at Raza & Jones provide clients with practical solutions for complex problems and have received recognition for their outstanding performance and commitment to clients. For more information or to schedule a confidential consultation, call (314) 449-8830.