If your relationship with your spouse has come to an end, there are a couple of options to consider, such as legal separation and divorce.

Determining whether to get a legal separation or divorce can be overwhelming and confusing. Before you can decide, it is important to thoroughly understand their similarities, differences, and the legal and emotional aftermath that each option brings.

Read more about the differences and similarities between the two below.

Are Legal Separation and Divorce the Same Thing?

Divorce and legal separation are not the same things. However, there are some similar effects between the two. Both divorce and legal separation legally allow space between you and your spouse. They create boundaries and a clear division in your lives by which you are legally required to live. Where you live and your finances are all separate. Even child custody, child support, spousal support/alimony, and the division of marital assets and debts are all court-ordered.

A significant difference between these two is that your marriage is legally and formally over when you divorce your spouse. You can live your life as a single individual and are free to get remarried. However, when you legally separate, you are still married to each other. You will continue to check “married” on forms, and you are not able to remarry. You still have the legal right to inherit from each other. Lastly, a child born to a married woman is legally considered the child of the mother’s spouse, unless proven differently.

Why Get Legally Separated Instead of Divorced?

Choosing a legal separation or a divorce is typically a matter of personal preference between spouses. Some couples have religious or personal beliefs that do not allow for divorce, but a legal separation allows completely separate lives while remaining married. This way, you are still entitled to a handful of benefits, like pensions that pay surviving spouses and Social Security

Legal separations are a common stepping stone for those on the path to divorce. This pit stop allows couples to settle important matters, such as financial or custody issues while remaining married and determining what they each genuinely want. A legal separation can be reversed, while a divorce cannot. Some couples choose to legally separate instead of divorce for their kids because it sounds less devastating or as permanent as divorce.

Required Separation Before Divorce

Some states require spouses to separate before they can divorce under certain grounds. A waiting period must be met where you live separately and apart before a court will grant a divorce. However, in other states, legal separation is not required and can be grounds for divorce.

Contact The Ault Firm P.C.

There is nothing easy about legal separation and divorce. If you need formal distance from your spouse but are not ready to commit to a divorce, a legal separation may fit your situation. If you are considering legally separating or getting a divorce, it is important to seek representation from a knowledgeable divorce attorney. The experienced team of lawyers at The Ault Firm are here to offer guidance and support and will work to protect your best interests and rights. Contact us to schedule your case review in the Salt Lake City and West Jordan areas in Utah.