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Legal Separation Vs. Divorce: Which is Right for You?

Legal Separation Vs. Divorce: Which is Right for You?

When a couple decides to end their marriage, they may consider either legal separation or divorce. While both options offer a way to separate, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s essential to understand the difference between legal separation and divorce to choose the right option for you. In this article, we will explore legal separation vs. divorce and help you make an informed decision.

What is Legal Separation?

Legal separation allows couples to live apart while still being legally married. Couples who choose legal separation agree on child custody, spousal support, and property division, just like in a divorce. However, the couple remains legally married, and neither spouse can remarry unless they obtain a divorce. A legal separation is a viable option for couples who are not ready to dissolve their marriage permanently. It can also be a better choice for couples who have religious or personal beliefs that forbid divorce There may be additional financial or social reasons to stay legally married.

Advantages of Legal Separation

  • The couple can maintain certain legal benefits, such as tax benefits, health insurance, and social security.
  • Legal separation provides time to work on the marriage without the pressure of living together.
  • Legal separation can be less stressful and less expensive than a divorce.
  • Legal separation may involve less contentious issues than a divorce, and requires both spouses to work amicably together.

Disadvantages of Legal Separation

  • Legal separation does not dissolve the marriage, and both parties remain married, unable to remarry.
  • The legal separation agreement may not carry the same weight in court as an order formally divorcing and dividing the marriage.
  • Either party can petition for a divorce at any time.

What is Divorce?

Divorce, also known as the dissolution of marriage, is a legal process that ends a marriage. In a divorce, the court divides assets, debts, and other liabilities, and determines child custody and support (if marital or adoptive children are involved) and spousal support. After a divorce, both parties are free to remarry.

Advantages of Divorce

  • Divorce offers a permanent solution to ending a marriage.
  • Both parties can remarry and start a new life.
  • The court’s divorce decree is enforceable, and violations can result in penalties such as contempt of court.
  • There is no longer any commingling of assets and personal property and real estate are divided finally.

Disadvantages of Divorce

  • Divorce can be emotionally and financially draining.
  • Divorce can lead to legal battles, especially if both parties cannot agree on child custody, property division, and support.
  • Divorce may affect the couple’s tax benefits and social security.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce: Which is Right for You?

Choosing between legal separation and divorce is a personal decision that depends on your circumstances. If you’re unsure about ending your marriage permanently, a legal separation may be a better choice. It can provide time to work on the marriage without the pressure of living together. However, if you’re ready to end your marriage permanently, divorce may be the best option. It provides a clean break and lets both parties start a new life.

It’s essential to seek the advice of a family law attorney to understand the legal implications of both options. At Colaw Team, we are dedicated to providing expert legal advice to our clients in Colorado. Our experienced family law attorneys will help you make the right decision based on your specific circumstances. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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