Brian D. Perskin & Associates

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

When you are dating and want to take a break from the relationship for a while, you can usually do just that. But it's not so easy to take a quick break when you are married, which is why legal separation agreements exist. You need contracts that state how child custody, child support, and alimony will work while you are apart. If you are considering legal separation, learn the basics of how it works.

How Does It Differ from Divorce?

This legal option is different from divorce because your marriage is still technically intact. You are simply taking a break, which usually consists of living apart without going through the longer process of divorce. Of course, studies show that the majority of couples who legally separate usually end up divorced, but you might want to try this route if you are not sure you want to divorce yet.

Benefits of Legal Separation

There are some reasons that some couples decide to separate instead of divorcing right away. The most obvious reason is that it can give you a chance to think about the divorce and decide if you really want it. You may end up missing your spouse after just days, realizing that you are not happy without him or her and wish to work out your problems. Having this realization come after filing for divorce can be much more expensive and complicated than when it occurs after legal separation.

Perhaps you do not want to be in a relationship with your spouse anymore, but divorce is against your personal beliefs. For example, many religions frown on this legal process, so you may choose legal separation to stay in line with your beliefs. However, you may not want to be miserable for life simply due to your beliefs, which is why you might choose legal separation instead.

In many cases, divorce would make it difficult to get certain benefits. For instance, your current health insurance coverage may be off limits to you when you divorce your spouse, so you may need to stay legally married to get benefits. In addition, if your spouse gets benefits from the government, you may not receive them anymore after divorce, so staying together makes sense if you need the money.

Why Hire a Lawyer?

When you go for legal separation, you often have to make the same decisions as when you divorce. This means you need to negotiate child custody, child support, alimony, and asset distribution. You need a lawyer like Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. before you enter into any agreements. This is especially true if the legal separation eventually becomes divorce, as most judges are likely to keep the initial court orders the same even after you file for divorce. Therefore, you need a lawyer from the start, so call our firm today.