Understanding Legal Separation and Divorce
Marriage is a complex institution, and it is dependent on the emotional interdependence of two individuals. Most relationships will go through periods of elation and depression, but the dark moments do not necessarily need to result in the dissolution of the marriage.
Many disagreements, regardless of duration, can reach a resolution. However, finding the solution and common ground takes work, and sometimes it is too challenging to perform that work together. Legal separation offers couples a needed break without dissolving their marriage, and it can be a less permanent option to divorce. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the differences between the two legal processes, as divorce lawyers in Collin County, TX, like from Scroggins Law Group, can explain.
Understanding Legal Separation
At the most basic level, legal separation means a couple is separated but the marriage is still legally intact. In other words, when a couple legally separated, most elements of marital assets remain. For example, health care and certain social security benefits will remain until a divorce is complete. Spouses are still responsible for liabilities, debts, and properties jointly owned or owned. Also, spouses going through a legal separation are still considered next of kin, meaning that each party can still make medical and financial decisions. Finally, the real benefit of legal separation is that a couple can test the waters of divorce without nullifying or dissolving their marriage; this way, if the couple finds they are better together than apart it is easy to remain married.
Divorce completely dissolves the marriage, meaning that all marital assets are split. Typically, after a divorce, each party is responsible for their lives, both financially and medically; however, spousal or child support might play into the divorce settlement.
In laymen’s terms, a divorce is more permanent than a separation. While a couple can easily return to marriage after a separation, a divorce would require another wedding or marriage ceremony.
Similarities Between Legal Separation and Divorce
Despite the clear and concrete difference between each service, legal separation and divorce do have some similarities. A judge or couple will still need to solidify specific details, like child visitation and custody, separation maintenance, and property division. Remember that separation is commonly a precursor to divorce, meaning that many actions will be similar; although one process is more permanent than the other.
Is your marriage going through a rough patch, and you don’t know if your relationship can survive? Consider talking to a professional about your legal options. Contact a local divorce attorney, and schedule an appointment.