Legal Separation or Divorce?
Over the years, an array of opinions has surfaced over the subject of legal separation before divorce. For most people, the term “separation” on its own sends off immediate warning signs that something must be wrong in the marriage. While the fact that separation clearly implies conflict in a marriage, the reality is legal separation is pursued by many different couples for various reasons, and the intent is not always to end the marriage. Many couples pursue legal separation with the hopes of saving the marriage and do succeed, eventually reconciling due to the time spent apart.
Motivations Behind Legal Separation
Others are simply unable to reconcile, however. In this case, the damage is done, the separation has only further clarified that the marriage is, in fact, over, and divorce naturally becomes the next step on the agenda. Most couples fall somewhere in the middle when they choose to legally separate. For example, married partners commonly separate because they are uncertain if divorce is the right choice for them and for their family, or they would like to try counseling and want time to attempt to repair the relationship before calling it quits.
Potential Benefits of Spending Time Apart
Whatever your personal circumstances, if you find that you are in a similar place, it may be worth it in your case to consider the benefits of legal separation before resorting to divorce. Here are three common reasons some couples opt for legal separation instead of divorce, and some points for you to consider as you weigh which option best suits your situation:
1. Perspective - Sometimes, the only way to think clearly about a difficult decision such as divorce is to create some distance between partners. Separation allows you to reflect on what is not working in the marriage, what can be done to resolve the problems, and which direction to go next. Distance can also help shed some light on your perception of the person you married, and whatever it is you feel is missing in your relationship. A legal separation allows you time and the protection of your financial well-being at the same time.
2. Financial Matters - In many cases, opting to legally separate can help you and your spouse continue to receive tax breaks, and maybe even maintain important benefits, such as health insurance plans and social security benefits. It is important to speak with your family law attorney about your current benefits and any other financial concerns you may have, should your marriage end. A competent divorce attorney will be able to advise you on how legal separation would benefit you financially.
3. Religious or moral factors - Another common scenario that leads a couple to pursue legal separation is a religious obligation or moral dilemma of some sort that prevents them from getting divorced. Certain religious and cultural beliefs frown upon the idea of divorce, so legal separation offers the couple a chance to remain married while living apart. Some people choose this option indefinitely, with no plans to ever truly divorce. This creates an option for compromise, which can be appealing, depending on your religious circumstances.
Deciding to live apart is never easy, and these are only a few of the many reasons you may be thinking about filing for separation. Consider speaking with a Kane County legal separation lawyer today, who can address your concerns and answer your questions. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C at 630-584-5550 for a one-on-one consultation.