When a couple decides they no longer want to be together, divorce is likely the first option that comes to mind. But what many people don’t realize is that divorce isn’t their only option.
A separation can benefit many couples who don’t want a formal divorce but also no longer want to live together. Depending on what you want out of your relationship, a separation may be right for you.
The Benefits of a Legal Separation
A legal separation is a court-ordered arrangement in which a married couple decides to live separate lives. Similar to a divorce, a separated couple can live independently and date other people, however, neither party can get remarried. While many couples choose to get separated as the first “step” on their path to divorce, many couples remain separated for years, if not decades.
While a divorce may be the more popular option for most couples, a legal separation offers several benefits, including:
Separation is usually best in situations including addiction where the legal separation protects both parties for two years while the situation is being worked on. Say, for example, the father is struggling as an alcoholic but is a good dad. The mom needs to protect the children while dad is working on recovery in the hopes that they will get back together.
After a divorce, it’s not uncommon for one person to lose their health insurance. But because a separated couple is still legally married, both parties can keep their health insurance.
Depending on your income, job, and assets, it may make financial sense to stay married on paper. A divorced couple may have to forfeit several tax benefits associated with being married.
Some couples choose to get separated if their religion doesn’t allow for divorce. Others may be morally against the idea of divorce.
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Whatever it is you’re facing, we’re armed with the relevant legal knowledge and courtroom experience to help you from start to finish.