When a married couple reaches a point of irreconcilable difference, they’ll likely begin the process of divorce. Before a divorce is finalized, a separation will occur. After all, with emotions high and separate lawyers being talked to, it’s not a good idea to try and remain in the same household.
But How Does Separation Work? Is It A Legal Process?
There are varying degrees of separation. A couple may have an informal separation where one partner agrees to move out of the house while the details of the divorce are finalized.
However, there is also legal separation which bears some similarities to divorce.
Similarities Of Legal Separation And Divorce
Just like a divorce, a legal separation will determine the rights and responsibilities of each party. The court will decide things such as child custody and support, spousal support, division of assets, handling of debt, etc.
Boundaries will be made, and these decisions will be legally binding just like with a divorce. There’s one key difference.
The Difference Between Legal Separation And Divorce: You’re Still Married
Even though all of your stuff has been divided and taken care of, a legal separation does not end the marriage. You are still listed as married on legal documentation. You cannot marry someone else.
And because you’re still married, a legal separation is entirely reversible. Should you reconcile your differences, you and your spouse are able to rejoin with little trouble.
When Is A Legal Separation The Best Course?
The best choice for you depends on your personal situation. In some cases, a legal separation is best for those who believe they may still get back together someday, but they need some time apart. If you think you may have a lengthy divorce finalization ahead of you, it may make sense to get a legal separation in the meantime to protect yourself and your assets.