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Legal Separation Vs Divorce: What Is The Difference?   

By: Benjamin E. Hertz|LRL Editor

Filing For Divorce Legally SeparatedFor people who want to go their separate ways, it is important for them to learn legal separation vs. divorce. This is because there are people who are not aware that there is such a difference exists.

One major different between the two is that divorce is the method which in legal terms terminates the marriage permanently. Given that the divorce is already final, each party is granted the permission to be married to another person without incurring any legal conflict. However, a separation allows for the parting of ways without necessarily terminating the marriage. This in turn suggests that both parties are not allowed to remarry unless a divorce is filed and approved. This should clarify the issue between the legal separation vs. divorce issue.

Another thing is that upon separation, concerns such as child support, division of property, child custody as well as alimony are all dealt with a legal separation in the same manner these things are managed in a divorce. In many states, legal separation can be transformed into a formal divorce once any party requests for it. In this case, the question now is what is the point of accomplishing a legal separation? Let's explore some more features of legal separation vs. divorce.

Basically, there are several types of separation. In essence, a legal separation is set to safeguard the interests of both parties while the couple makes their decision on what to do with the separation. This is documented using a court order or a separation agreement. Most couples usually find a way to work things out and choose to reconcile.

Legal separation does not allow for remarriage since it does not at all terminate the marriage. There are some cases wherein the cultural as well as religious beliefs of a person do not allow them to file for a divorce. In this case, a legal separation can provide them the necessary legal protection in the same manner as divorce but without necessarily committing to divorce.

Legal separation can allow both parties to think first about the situation before finally deciding to file a request for divorce. The time apart provided by legal separation to couple can help them consider and rethink the whole process. This can give them a clearer outlook about the whole ordeal. In fact, most states suggest and mandate couples to firstly file for a legal separation before proceeding to an actual divorce.

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