Divorce vs. Legal Separation

Divorce vs. Legal Separation

After the marriage does not work out, the decision to split can be complicated. Often, many people do not know their options after the disagreements in their marriage. The majority of the people are familiar with divorce. But, a handful of people are aware of legal separation. Being aware of both scenarios can provide benefits to you. 

However, seeking legal help from family law attorneys Milwaukee can be helpful in many scenarios. There are a few key differences between a divorce and legal separation. While both terms may sound similar to you, their differences could be significant when considering splitting up. 

What is a divorce? 

Divorce is terminating a marriage or a marital union by accounting for several factors. Divorce is usually a two-step process. The spouses must stay at least one year together before the marriage dissolves completely. When a lack of commitment and frequent arguments or disagreements arise in a marriage, people start considering divorce as an option. You can contact a family law attorney in Milwaukee if you want legal assistance throughout the process. 

What is a legal separation?

A legal separation is a process within which a couple is allowed to stay married with an arrangement of staying apart. Legal separation is a one-step process. Spouses can lead different lives altogether, but they would still be married until the court finalizes the divorce after separation. Legal separation has been proven helpful to many couples who wish to work out their differences while being apart.

Difference between a divorce and legal separation:

  • Marital status 

The critical difference between both terms is marital status. When a couple is legally separated, they would not be allowed to marry another person. The couple would still be married when a legal separation is advised. In divorce, the couple would be allowed to marry other people since their marriage has been terminated legally. 

  • Property rights 

A couple would have equal decision rights over property and assets when legally separated. In case of a divorce, both spouses’ property rights would not be preserved, given the marriage is legally invalid. 

  • Reconciliation 

Once divorced, the divorced couple may have to remarry again as per the law. A legal separation would allow spouses to reconcile easily since the marriage would not be terminated in such a case. 

  • Decision making 

A divorced couple may not be considered next of kin when it decides to distribute assets. In contrast, spouses would be allowed to make decisions when legally separated. 

The primary differences between a divorce and legal separation can provide advantages and disadvantages for every case. If you want to stay married to your spouse and wish to resolve the disagreements over time, legal separation could be considered. Otherwise, a divorce would be the only other option. 

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