A Quick Guide to Separation Laws vs. Divorce Laws

There’s a good chance you’ve heard the statistic that half of all marriages end in divorce.

The truth of it is a bit more complicated. And by some reckoning, the divorce rate may actually be declining. However, experts still estimate that over a third of marriages will end in divorce.

Although it remains a common occurrence, it’s not a decision to take lightly. Particularly when you consider how complex divorce and separation laws can be.

Before you decide to proceed with a separation or divorce, let’s take the time to familiarize ourselves with the process. Here is what you can expect moving forward.

What Do Separation Laws Entail?

The first thing to establish is what it means to be legally separated from your partner.

In brief, it is a legal process whereby a married couple arranges to live apart while dividing up responsibilities and assets. While this sounds a lot like a divorce, the distinction is that while you’re separated from a spouse, you remain married in the eyes of the law.

This can be advantageous from a number of viewpoints. For instance, couples that are separated but not divorced can continue to benefit from things like pensions or social security.

It’s to the point that around 10% of couples that separate remain so indefinitely, rather than reconciling or finalizing their divorce.

There are a few reasons why an indefinite separation might be preferable. From a fiscal standpoint, it may make more sense. In addition to couples being able to share assets and benefits, pursuing separation is much less expensive than a final divorce.

Couples may also belong to religious groups that do not approve of divorce, making separation a preferable option. And couples with children at sensitive ages will often opt for a prolonged separation to make the process easier for the little ones to acclimate to.

A notable caveat is that, as you and your spouse are still married as far as the law is concerned, neither of you can remarry while separated. Only after finalizing your divorce can you move forward in that regard.

How Are Divorce Laws Different?

The main distinction of divorce is its finality.

Divorce dissolves your marriage outright, with both parties forfeiting certain rights and benefits in the process. Both parties must also go through the process of dividing up assets, settling custody of children, and the like.

It’s a much more involved process than separation of time, energy, and expense.

Finding the Solution for Your Situation

It’s unlikely you came to this decision lightly.

Divorce and separation laws would be enough to contend with. But even in the most amicable case, ending a marriage takes a personal toll.

Right now you need to surround yourself with a support network. Not to mention a good divorce attorney to help navigate the legal waters.

But you can look at this time as an opportunity to start anew. Moving forward, be sure to keep up with our latest news to make sure you start this new stage of your personal and financial life off on the right foot.