Legal separation is another option that a lot of married couples choose when things are turning bad. It is similar to a divorce or an annulment in the sense that it allows married couples to live apart from each other. However, a lot of the same conditions applicable to a married couple still apply.

Is this the right option for you? Get a better understanding of what legal separation is and how different it is from a divorce or an annulment to figure out whether this is the right path for you.

Understanding Legal Separation

Legal separation formalizes a de facto separation while remaining legally married. Unlike annulment or divorce, legal separation maintains your marriage to your spouse. This means that any legal responsibilities that you have to each other remains the same. In the case of a divorce or an annulment, most marital responsibilities end the moment the proceedings are finalized.

Legal separation also gives both parties time to reassess their situation. In some cases, couples end up getting back together after legal separation. The distance and space serves as a great time for both parties to think things through. This is why some states and counties also require couples filing for a divorce to go through legal separation first before their divorce can be reviewed. This gives them the chance to think about their conflicts and issues and decide whether a divorce is really what they need.

The Advantages of a Legal Separation

A legal separation has quite a few advantages over a divorce or an annulment. For you to assess whether this is the right option for you, see if these advantages are things that you would need.

  • Financial benefits

Because couples who are legally separated are technically still married, they also have the privilege of filing their taxes together. For couples who want to continue benefitting from joint tax filing, legal separation would be the only option. This is something that you cannot do when you are divorced or annulled.

  • Insurance coverage

Legally separated couples will still be able to retain the same insurance coverage they enjoy as a married couple. As for those who would rather get divorced or annulled, the spouse is immediately disqualified as a beneficiary the moment the process is finalized.

  • Possibility of reconciliation

Although it is also possible for divorced or annulled couples to become reacquainted and come into better terms, they would have to get remarried should they eventually decide to get back together. As for legally separated couples, reconciliation would be easier because the marriage was never ended or nullified in the first place.

  • Obedience to religious beliefs

Churches often believe in the sanctity of marriage. Getting divorced or annulled is heavily frowned upon because it symbolizes a disregard for the vows that the couple took in front of the altar. Because legal separation does not really end the marriage, it appears to be a better option for those who would rather stick to their church teachings.

Given these four reasons, a lot of people go through legal separation first before finally deciding on a divorce or annulment. Also, a lot of benefits (social security, military insurance, death benefits) require at least 10 years of marriage before the couple could mutually gain from it. Because of this, a lot of couples opt for a legal separation just for the sake of reaching the 10-year requirement.

Do you feel that legal separation is the right choice for you? If this is an option you wish to take, let us help you out. The team can help lead you to making the right decision.