If you’re currently in a troubling marriage, you may be contemplating a divorce from your spouse. While divorce may seem like the only way go in this situation, there are actually alternatives to be considered. One of these is a legal separation. Legal separation is different than divorce, although the two sound synonymous. If, for whatever reason, divorce doesn’t seem like the right option for you, but distancing yourself from your spouse is something that needs to happen, consider a legal separation. Below, we’ll explain the differences between the two, and give examples of situations where legal separation might be better suited to your needs.

The Main Difference

The difference between divorce and legal separation is that a divorce completely terminates a marriage, while those who are legally separated are still married. Legal separation is a court ordered mandate where marital duties are upheld while spouses live separately. This can benefit couples with financial complications, as well as those who are unsure of if they want to completely end a marriage.

Other Situations in Which Legal Separation Might be a Good Option:

Healthcare Coverage

While you may want to end a relationship with your spouse and ultimately live separately, a divorce can take away one-half of a married couple’s health care coverage. With a legal separation, you will still be married and can both keep your existing coverage.

Religious Beliefs

Religions have varying views about the sanctity of marriage. Although a relationship might ultimately be failing, some may choose legal separation over divorce due to religious beliefs.

Military Benefits

Spouses of military personnel will receive benefits after ten years of being married. This could be a reason to live apart while maintaining a marriage.

A Marriage Termination “Test”

As mentioned above, with a legal separation, you will have time and experience apart from your partner to see if this is what you both really want, before completely terminating a marriage. Separation can give you mental clarity about your home life and other situations. Legal separation could ultimately save a marriage, or show you that moving on and acquiring a divorce is your next best move.

Wilson, Howser, & Oliver Attorneys at Law

With over 30 years of combined divorce experience, our team of professionals can help you through this difficult time in your life. Our team will help you every step of the way and make sure that you understand the process and the implications of it. If you’re seeking legal guidance on divorce, call us at 615-895-0030 or schedule your free consultation.