What is the Difference Between Legal Separation vs. Divorce?
If you are not getting along with your spouse, you may make the decision that you no longer wish to live together. In some cases, you may simply want to try life apart but not actually get a divorce. In other circumstances, you may be confident that the marriage needs to end permanently. There are different approaches to take depending upon which of these situations is most like the one you are in.
An Irvine, CA family law attorney can help you to understand the important differences between legal separation vs. divorce and can assist you in deciding what your best options are if you no longer wish to remain with your spouse. Call Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options for separating or ending your marriage.
Differences Between Legal Separation vs. Divorce
Divorce is a permanent and final dissolution of your marriage. If you decide to get divorced:
- You will need to divide up all of your property and assets, and will need to divide custody of your children.
- Either spouse will be free to get remarried to someone else. If the spouses that divorced want to be remarried to each other, they will need to get a new marriage license and go through the formal process of remarrying.
- You will not be allowed to file taxes as a married couple, nor will you be entitled to benefits and protections available to married couples under the law.
Legal separation is not a permanent and final dissolution of your marriage. One of the most fundamental differences between legal separation vs. divorce is that you remain legally wed if you separate. This means neither spouse can marry anyone else; you don’t have to go through the full process of dividing all assets and debts; and you could get back together without having to remarry. You can also file taxes as a married couple, although many people who are separated will file as married filing separately rather than simply filing as married.
You do not have to get legally separated if you decide you want to live independently of your spouse. One of you can simply move out of the family home and live elsewhere until you either decide to get back together or until you decide to move forward and officially divorce. However, you can pursue a legal separation if you want to live independently but you need to establish some legal guidelines for doing so. For example, if you want to receive support from your spouse while you are living separately or if you want to work out a custody arrangement for the time when you are living apart, then a legal separation makes it possible to do that.
An Irvine, CA divorce and family law attorney can help you to understand legal separation vs. divorce and can assist you with either process. Call Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today to learn more.