There are a few different types of separation that we will discuss today: trial, permanent, and legal.

While divorce and separation have a few similarities, they are not the same. A separation is when a married couple decides to separate. Whether it is a short-term or long-term decision, the couple has chosen to remain legally married but divide their debts, assets, and responsibilities.

Continue reading to learn about the three different types of separation below.

Information on the Three Types of Separation

There are three types of separation. While only one will change your legal status in most states, all three of them can affect your legal rights.

  1. TRIAL SEPARATION — If you and your spouse need time apart or a break from your relationship, you can opt to live separately and decide in the meantime whether you want to reconcile or divorce. The same legal rules apply to trail separations as married couples when it comes to property ownership. For example, money earned and property purchased will likely be considered joint assets depending on your state’s property ownership laws.
  2. PERMANENT SEPARATION — Permanent separation is when you and your spouse live apart and do not intend to reconcile but have not yet divorced. Living apart in some states can change your property rights as spouses. If you and your spouse do not intend to reconcile, then income, property, assets, and debts acquired during your separation will typically belong to the spouse who acquired or incurred them. Knowing and agreeing upon the exact date of permanent separation can help you and your spouse avoid heated and contested conversations in your divorce process.It is important to note that a brief reconcile (i.e., going out or spending the night together) can change the date of separation. This may affect your assets, property, and debts, meaning a debt you thought was strictly your spouse’s may become shared.
  3. LEGAL SEPARATION — Legally separated is entirely different status than divorced or married — you are no longer married, but are not divorced either and cannot remarry. In many states, a legal separation can be granted by filing a request in family court. The court’s order about the legal separation will include information on property and asset division, alimony, child support, and visitation, just as a divorce decree would.

Couples opt for legal separation instead of a divorce for various reasons, such as religious or personal beliefs or the desire or the pressure to keep the family together for the children’s sake legally.

Contact The Ault Firm, P.C.

Whether you are getting a divorce or have chosen one of the different types of separation, the end of a relationship is never easy. If you are in the Salt Lake City or West Jordan, Utah, area and require an experienced family law attorney, contact the knowledgeable team of professionals at The Ault Firm. With decades of experience, our lawyers can help you navigate this challenging time and provide comprehensive legal representation. Let our professionals guide you through this complicated process by scheduling your case review today.