What's the Difference Between a Legal Separation and a Divorce?

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What Is a Legal Separation?

A legal separation is not an end to a marriage. Getting a legal separation means that the couple lives separately. It is different compared to a divorce because the couple is still legally married. Although there are pros and cons of separation, most people may try a legal separation before filing for divorce because it offers some of the following benefits:

Although legal separations are different compared to divorces, they still cover the same issues. Separation agreements usually cover:

If the couple cannot resolve their problems and do not want to continue with the marriage, then the separation agreement will become the divorce settlement agreement.

What Is a Divorce?

When you get a divorce, the court documents that your marriage has legally come to an end. Most divorces are considered no fault divorce.

To complete a no fault divorce, a spouse simply needs to do is give the court any reason for filing for divorce. The filing spouse does not need consent from the other spouse. The most common reason for divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” Although all states recognizes no fault divorces, some states require the spouses to live separately for a period of time before filing.

Should I Get an Attorney for My Divorce or Annulment?

Yes. Filing for a divorce or a legal separation can be a complicated and stressful process. A family lawyer can protect your legal rights and represent your best interests in court.

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Last Modified: 05-07-2015 11:03 AM PDT

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