Woman holding her wedding ring.

Are There Situations When Legal Separation Is Better than Divorce?

There are many instances when a couple needs to legally separate, but they don’t necessarily want a divorce. The separation can be for legal, emotional, or a matter of politics. Some couples believe that divorce is not an option, so they look to a legal separation to sever their ties.

Understanding A Legal Separation

A legal separation doesn’t end the marriage; rather, it’s a legal document that frees one person of the other. Any debt incurred by one party is no longer the responsibility of both. Though it’s not a divorce, this legal action can divide assets, child custody and support, and debts.

Some people choose this option when they are working on things in their marriage, and they are not sure if they want to divorce. Doing a trial separation allows some time apart to see if a divorce is inevitable. If you have shared businesses and real estate, you can still share these as you may unite again in the future. Who should use legal separation? Let’s consider the following scenarios:

1. The Couple Is Separated by Distance

When distance separates a couple, a legal document may be necessary to protect both parties. The couple may not have any grievances with each other, but it’s more of a logistical issue. Career-minded individuals and those that are required to live in another city may need these sorts of legal protections. It helps to shield them when they are functioning as separate adults.

2. Religious Barriers Forbids Divorce

Numerous religions forbid divorce under any circumstances. The vows that state “till death do us part,” are taken literally. While you may need to stay married according to your faith, it doesn’t mean that you cannot go on and live your life. A legal separation can give you some freedom without breaking your vows.

3. Complicated Economic Confines

Some couples would like to get divorced, but there are many valid reasons why taking such a drastic step is impractical. For instance, a relative may have put in their will that to get their inheritance, a person must remain married to their current spouse. Though It might sound like something from the movies, things like this do happen every day.

Another example is that a trust could be left to both people and if the marriage were to end, then the trust would dissolve. Some couples may want to stay married so that they can take care of each other and provide support. Though their love and affection they once shared died years ago, their commitment is still valid.

4. A Couple Is Working on Their Marriage

The most common reason why people get a legal separation is that they know it’s reversible. A divorce is final and very costly, and if a couple decides to reunite, then they must go through the hassle of getting married again. In a legal separation, they can address things like bank accounts, child custody, and living in separate homes, but they don’t have to cut ties completely.

5. Your Marriage Is Very Public

Celebrities, and those in the public eye, often don’t want the drama that comes along with a divorce. The more well-known a person is, the more the tabloids like to have a field day with such situations. Getting a divorce could cause negative publicity and chaos that neither party wants.

Your relationship and romance may have fallen by the way; however, getting a divorce could harm your business, career, and personal life. Many couples in these situations try to keep their marriage going, but they want the security of legal separation to protect their assets. Divorce can be very expensive, and some people just don't want to split their wealth too.

Making Tough Decisions

A legal separation can give you a couple of months or even years to work on the issues in your union. If you still love each other and are not ready to call it quits, then this can allow you some time and protection until you decide what needs to be done. If there is any chance of a future reconciliation, then a legal separation may be the right thing to do.

You may think that your marriage is too complicated for divorce court, but you don’t have the option of staying together either. Taking this step allows you to live separate lives for a while until you can emotionally or financially deal with the situation. Our attorneys can help you figure out the options and see if a legal separation is right for you. Call us today for a consultation to see how we can help give you some peace of mind when you’re dealing with marital issues.