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Legal Separation And How It Differs From Divorce

To hear that two people who had been married are now separated is not something that turns many heads anymore. It seems that people are constantly doing this type of thing. They just can’t seem to work out their issues with one another, so they go to the courts to help them out. There is nothing wrong with that in particular, it just means that the two sides recognize that they need a third-party mediator of sorts to help them figure this all out.

How Separation Is Different From Divorce

Legal separation is different from divorce in a number of ways. Divorce is the legal end of a legal marriage. It is something well spelled out in the law, and it is something that previously married people do when they do not want to be married to each other anymore. Legal separation is something different altogether.

Family.findlaw.com says that legal separation is not all that common, but that it can be helpful in certain marital situations. With a legal separation, the couple remains legally married, but they are living in two separate locations. They are also asking the court to hash out a number of issues for them that they personally could not work out together.

A few of the things that a court will determine for the couple in a legal separation are as follows:

  • Custody of the children
  • Visitation rights
  • Division of property

These are the types of things that a divorce court would usually settle as well. However, since the couple is not actually getting a divorce in this situation, they remain married but still have the court work out these issues for them.

Trying Out Being Separated

A “trial separation” is something that some married couples do. The purpose of this is to have the two parties live apart from one other for a pre-determined period of time. During that time, both parties are supposed to figure out if they would like to continue the marriage or not. It can be thought of as a “cooling off” period in which both sides work out their issues internally to see if there really is still life left in their marriage.

Different people come to different conclusions when they do these types of things. Some focus more on themselves and realize that perhaps they do not need to married to their partner after all. For others, the process of taking time away from their partner helps them to find the love in their marriage once more.

Obtain An Attorney To Work These Things Out

An attorney who practices this area of the law is an invaluable asset. He or she will have worked on similar cases in the past, and that means their experience will help usher your case in the direction you were hoping that it might go. They are not always completely successful in everything they do of course, but for the most part they are a great investment in these situations.

Although a separation is not a divorce, it may lead to one in the near future. It is worth having an attorney in your corner who will be there for you in the event that your separation ends up leading to a divorce. There is way too much at stake to leave anything up to chance at court. It is never a good appearance to arrive for court unprepared. As such, make sure to lock in the attorney you need for your separation hearings right away. They will come in handy later on down the road regardless of what happens to your marriage.

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