Whenever you and your spouse want to go your own separate ways, you may need to evaluate whether legal separation or divorce is right for you.
Even though the two seem similar, both monetary and child custody-related issues differ in many ways depending on which one you choose.
Types and definition
According to FindLaw, legal separation is when two people still retain many rights of a married couple but usually reside in different households. Divorce is when those two are permanently separated in the legal sense, and you terminate the marriage. On the whole, more people choose to divorce than legally separate.
Rights and status
In a legal separation, you cannot remarry, since you are still legally wed to your spouse. You also may be responsible for debts and other expenses that your spouse incurred if you are not divorced. Additionally, you do get to keep your health benefits if they are through the other person’s job in this circumstance.
In a divorce, you are responsible for your own healthcare. Separation means that, in the event of a serious medical issue, you are still able to make decisions on behalf of your spouse.
Many people may choose a legal separation if they foresee any chance of reconciliation with their spouse in the future. Since many connections are still in place, it is easier to return to married life.
How long the two of you live in different residences influences how you divide up property. However, divorcing your spouse is final and leads to a distinctly separate outcome than legal separation.