3 Reasons People Choose Legal Separation

3 Reasons People Choose Legal Separation

An open-ended legal separation can empower couples in several ways. While a legal separation agreement may look very similar to a divorce agreement, a legally separated couple still maintains their legal marital ties. In other words, couples that opt for legal separation can choose to divide assets, arrange child custody splits, and live separate lives without sacrificing their marriage-related benefits or religious beliefs. 

To better understand why couples choose legal separation over divorce, take a few moments to compare the potential upsides that can come with this decision. Legal separation can be an interim option if you or your spouse are still on the fence about your relationship. A legal separation is both easier to complete and overturn if reconciliation is a possibility.

Aside from the obvious benefits associated with testing out the split before making a final decision, what other common reasons guide couples toward a legal separation over divorce? 

Legal Separation Preserves Financial Perks

For many couples, divorce would result in significant financial stress. Instead of cutting ties completely and missing out on employer-sponsored health benefits, accruing retirement assets, and joint-filing tax perks following a divorce, legal separation can be fiscally beneficial to both parties.

This topic also includes the 10-year marriage requirement tied to receiving spousal social security benefits. For example, if you have been married for 8 years and were to divorce today, you would not be eligible for your spouse’s social security payments after reaching age 62. In this same scenario, if you decide to have a legal separation instead of choosing divorce, you become eligible for the social security payments after the 10-year mark, even if you have been living separate lives for the past 2 years. 

Legal Separation Prevents Divorce Remorse

The only thing that hurts as much as a broken heart is spending countless dollars on divorce proceedings and realizing you made the wrong decision. Legal separation, especially when managed through divorce mediation processes, can be significantly less time-consuming and expensive than traditional divorce proceedings. Not only does a legal separation give you time to organize your thoughts and make a decision rooted in logic, but a legal separation is much easier to remedy if you and your ex eventually decide to reconnect. 

Legal Separation Streamlines Future Decisions

Regardless of your reason for seeking a legal separation, the agreement you reach allows for ease of future adjustments and finalizations. For example, if after time apart you decide that a divorce is a right decision, our divorce mediators can help you complete a conversion divorce using your legal separation agreement as a blueprint to simplify the process.

These are only a few of the important considerations to weigh while deciding if legal separation is right for you. Before rushing off to court, contact our seasoned mediators and we’ll help you compare the pros and cons with experienced insight and transparency. 

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