Understanding Legal Separation vs. Divorce
People often synonymously use the term “legal separation” and “divorce”; however, in reality, both differ quite a lot. Opting for both options creates a space between spouses, but unlike a divorce, a legal separation does not result in the dissolution of the marriage.
As per the census data released in 2010, 2% of the people in the United States claimed to be separated while more than 9% claimed to be divorced. Legal separations are not a popular choice for spouses who do not want to live together, but they can prove to be helpful, especially while the couple works through the problems which are affecting their marriage.
Legal Separation Vs Divorce
The biggest difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that separation allows spouses to retain their marital status; therefore, they cannot remarry someone else until they get divorced. Here are a few other differences between a legal separation and a divorce.
Health Care and other benefits – After a divorce, spouses’ healthcare and other benefits such as social security benefits are terminated with immediate effect, but legal separation allows the couple to retain these benefits.
Decision Making – Divorced couples are not considered next of kin, thus do not have the right to make financial or medical decisions on behalf of each other, but if they opt for a legal separation instead, they are still regarded as next of kin, consequently allowed to make such decisions for each other.
Property Rights – Divorce extinguishes each spouse’s legal right to property benefits in case of death of the other spouse, but legal separation keeps these rights preserved.
Liabilities and Obligations – During a divorce, all the assets and liabilities are divided between spouses by the court per the applicable laws in their state. Conversely, spouses remain responsible for each other’s debts and obligations in case of legal separation.
Remarriage – Once spouses get divorced, the verdict cannot be undone, and they have to remarry if they are seeking legal reunification. On the other hand, reconciliation is much easier for a couple who opted for legal separation as their marriage remains intact and they do not have to remarry.
Do I Need A Divorce Lawyer?
Both legal separation and divorce provides different solutions to individuals who are dealing with a failing marriage. If you are dealing with such an unfortunate situation, it is always recommended that you obtain legal services of an experienced divorce lawyer before making a final decision.
In many cases, a legal separation may be a better choice from a financial perspective due to continued insurance and medical benefits, supplemented by tax benefits. A competent divorce lawyer will help you to understand the consequences of both divorce and legal separation, which will help you to remain financially secure, both in the short and long term.
Aside from benefits, there are multiple factors that may also need to be considered such as safeguarding your assets, property division, child custody, alimony, amongst others. Equipped with comprehensive knowledge and financial expertise, a divorce lawyer will assess all the implications of both divorce and legal separation and give you sound advice based on the circumstances of your case, which will serve best in your interests.
If you wish to learn more about legal separation or want to schedule a free consultation, contact Law Office of Fedor Kozlov at 847-241-1299 to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer.