If you have decided to cut the tie with your spouse, you can choose to get a legal separation or divorce. But unless you are a law expert, determining which option works best for you can be confusing. Before you can decide, you need to understand how both options are similar and different by consulting a Tacoma Divorce Attorney. Also, your lawyer will help you know the legal and emotional aftermath these options bring.
The Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce
Divorce and legal separation are different things, although there are similar effects between them. These options legally give you and your spouse some space. Also, they create a clear division in your lives by which you should live. Whether you choose divorce or legal separation, where you live and your finances are separate. Also, the court decides on related matters such as child custody and support, spousal support, as well as marital asset and debt division.
But, when you choose divorce, your marriage is legally and formally over. This means you can free to marry again. But, a legal separation does not end your marriage, so you cannot remarry. Thus, you still have the right to inherit from each other.
Benefits of Legal Separation Over Divorce
Whatever option you choose depends on your preference and your spouse’s. If your religious or personal beliefs don’t permit divorce, a legal separation lets you live separate lives while staying married. This makes you entitled to some benefits such as pensions that pay the surviving spouse and social security.
Those who are planning a divorce can take legal separation as a stepping stone. By separating legally, you and your spouse can settle important matters such as financial or custody issues while you determine what you both want. While a legal separation can be reversed, a divorce can’t.
In some states, couples must separate before they can divorce under certain grounds. They need to meet a waiting period where they live separately and apart before they can be granted a court-approved divorce. But, legal separation is not required in other states and can be grounds for divorce.
Both divorce and legal separation are tough decisions to make. If you want to be formally away from your spouse; however, you are not ready for a divorce, your ideal option might be a legal separation. If you want to legally separate and get a divorce, seek representation from an experienced divorce attorney.