Relationships are complex and look different for each couple. Over time, a couple will inevitably face hardships and go through changes. These changes may eventually drive spouses to need time apart or end the marriage altogether. While just filing for a divorce is definitely the best option for some individuals, there are other choices if individuals do not want to file. Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C. can help explain these options.
What Is Legal Separation?
When a couple decides to file for a divorce, they are legally terminating their marriage. This is an effective method for individuals who do not expect to get back together or need to move on from their current relationship. However, the concrete nature of a divorce is not effective for every couple’s situation. Instead, they may decide to go with a legal separation.
The main difference between a divorce and legal separation is that in a legal separation the marital status is not terminated. You still have to discuss the terms of your separation, such as property division, but the marriage itself remains.
Why Would Someone Want a Legal Separation?
If legal separation and divorce don’t have that many differences, then why do individuals choose to go with legal separation? There are several different reasons why someone would go this route:
Unsure About The Future
One reason that a couple may decide to legally separate is that they are unsure about their future and possibilities as a couple. Sometimes, people need time apart to work on themselves outside of a relationship. A legal separation is beneficial for this reason because the marriage is not terminated permanently. If a couple is not ready to divorce, they can instead take the time they need to figure out the best next steps. If their relationship is not improving, they can still ultimately file for a divorce.
Have Young Children
It is no secret that a divorce can be especially difficult for children to process. This is a major change in their lives that will take some time to get accustomed to. Sometimes parents would rather avoid putting their children through this stress, and opt for a legal separation. Often, they will wait until their children have gotten older to finalize the divorce. While this can be beneficial for the children, it is important to note that it is not always the best choice.
While divorce is becoming less taboo these days, there are some individuals that still view this process negatively. Furthermore, some religions outline that divorce is immoral or should not be allowed. In order to avoid the stigma associated with a divorce, these individuals may choose to proceed with a legal separation. This gives the couple the space they need apart while avoiding feelings of shame from their decision.
Access to Benefits
One of the most beneficial aspects of marriage are the benefits awarded from it. For example, married couples are able to rely on one another for health insurance and potential tax breaks. If a couple files for a divorce, subsequently terminating their marriage, they no longer have access to these same benefits. This can be detrimental to some individuals that heavily rely on their partner for health insurance or other forms of financial stability. Legal separation allows the couple continued access to these benefits because the marriage is not terminated.
Does Legal Separation Require an Attorney?
Even though you are not officially terminating a marriage during a legal separation, it still requires paperwork and dealing with the court system. Due to this, retaining an experienced attorney can be immensely helpful in these situations. If you have any questions about legal separation or wonder if it is right for you and your spouse, contact the team at Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C..