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What is the Difference Between Divorce and Legal Separation?

When you and your spouse have come to the decision to end your marriage, you will probably have many questions about the first steps to take. If you have started to research your options the phrase “legal separation” might have come to your attention. Some couples in Connecticut chose to explore the possibility of avoiding a divorce by opting for a legal separation instead. If you are considering this route, it is important to understand the differences between a divorce and a legal separation before making a decision on which one works best for you.

The Unique Difference Between Divorce and Legal Separation

The legal process of a divorce and legal separation can look very similar and require an equal amount of time and attention. Both a divorce and legal separation will mean a division of assets, decisions about child custody, and other common issues involved in the dissolution of a marriage.

The important thing to note with a legal separation is that if you chose this option, you are not legally permitted to remarry. While a divorce will leave you free to remarry someone else, a legal separation withholds this right. For this reason, it is important to consider if you might want to remarry in the future when deciding between a divorce or a legal separation.

An experienced family law attorney can help guide you through this process and offer their legal advice regarding each option.

Determining Which Option is Best for You

Although most couples ultimately decide that a divorce is the best way to proceed, there are certain circumstances that might make a legal separation more appealing. These include:

  • The need to remain on your spouse’s company health insurance plan.
  • Remaining legally married to qualify for certain social security benefits.
  • Your religious beliefs prohibit divorce.

If you and your partner are simply trying to avoid the finality of a divorce while you take time apart to see if a total separation is what you really want, it is best to proceed with an informal separation. A legal separation will require most of the same legal requirements as a divorce does, which ultimately might not benefit your attempts to test the waters of a separation.

Speak With a Connecticut Family Law Attorney Today

Choosing to dissolve a marriage can be a difficult decision that requires thoughtful planning. If you and your partner have concluded that your marriage is over, it is in your best interest to speak to a divorce lawyer in Connecticut. At Piazza, Simmons & Grant, LLC, our legal team has worked through many different scenarios with couples who are seeking to end their marriages. We can offer advice on the process that works best for your specific situation. Going through this with a skilled attorney can reduce the stress you are feeling and can help set you up to move forward with your life. Call us today at 203-348-2465 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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