While they share similarities, divorce and legal separation are not equivalent. Legal separation doesn’t dissolve the marriage completely. As someone who may have already decided that parting ways from their spouse is the right decision, you may not be sure whether to file for legal separation or divorce. Here we have discussed further what each of these processes entails, along with pros and cons.

What Legal Separation Is and Isn’t

Alike to divorce, legal separation necessitates putting court appointed agreements into place. Each spouse and his or her lawyer will strive to reach agreements for disputes which will then be filed to the court. But unlike divorce, legal separation keeps the marriage from ending, with some stipulations. Even though legal separation may seem like a less serious process, it still should be seriously considered before starting, as it will change the lives of each spouse.

The main difference between divorce and legal separation is that divorce results in the complete ending of the marriage, and legal separation doesn’t. 

The Pros of Legal Separation

Making the decision to move forward with legal separation is a choice that only you and your spouse can ultimately make. Legal separation should still be done with guidance from a lawyer who is familiar with family law legalities. For some couples, legal separation is the first step towards divorce. The pros of legal separation include:

  • You and your spouse can continue to get medical insurance from the subscriber’s health care plan. 
  • You and your spouse will continue to benefit from federal tax breaks.
  • By separating from the marriage without officially getting a divorce religious convictions can stay intact.
  • You and your spouse are not prepared to enter the negotiations of a divorce agreement. 
  • Legal separation is the first step in protecting both of your interests while you decide if divorce is the right decision.
  • You keep the possibility of a reconciliation alive, as you and your spouse can still choose to have your marriage intact after spending time apart. It isn’t uncommon for couples to seek marriage counseling while legally separated.

It isn’t always easy to know for sure whether divorcing your spouse is the best thing to do. For others, they may be confident about parting ways but prefer a legal separation over divorce. Those who are thinking about filing for legal separation are encouraged to speak with a lawyer, similar to a Legal Separation Lawyer in Alameda, County CA from Attorney Bernie, as soon as they know this is the next step they want to take.