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3 Reasons Why You Might Choose a Legal Seperation Over Divorce

If you and your spouse find yourselves considering divorce, know that you’re not alone. Despite changing divorce and marriage rates in the U.S., about 42% of marriages will end in divorce. Those who give marriage a second chance face a 60% chance of divorce. The majority of divorces — 80% — are initiated by women of all ages.

legal seperationBut for all the reasons there are to say “I do” when getting married, there are an equal amount — if not more — reasons to say “I don’t” to getting a divorce. Although you and your spouse may have had the best intentions for each other and yourselves when you decided to tie the knot, marriages can become emotionally complicated partnerships that simply don’t work out.

Deciding to get a divorce is a serious emotional, mental, legal, and even spiritual matter that requires an extraordinary amount of thought and consideration. Couples considering ending their marriage in divorce are encouraged to seek the advice of professionals, such as a trust attorney, family law lawyer, spiritual counselor, or therapist.

The word divorce itself is enough to evoke a range of emotions, many of which are uncomfortable. It’s important to realize that divorce isn’t the only option and that choosing a legal separation instead of a divorce has many emotional and legal benefits. Not only will it give you the time you need to continue processing the events of this difficult time, but it allows you to better prepare for the next step ahead — whatever that may be.

In states that allow and recognize legal seperation, couples are allowed to remain married but live apart. If you live in a state that recognizes legal seperation, here are a few reasons why choosing separation over divorce can be beneficial.

Uncertainty
If you not completely sure you want to end your marriage, then a legal seperation is a good place to begin. In the event you decide to reconcile in the near or distant future, a legal separation can easily be reversed, whereas a divorce cannot. There is no need to “remarry” after a legal separation, as the marriage was never dissolved. On the other hand, for states that require a legal separation before allowing a divorce, separating from your spouse is a way to start the legal process ahead.

Religious or personal preference
For many couples, a legal seperation is the most appropriate option for their needs. This is especially true for couples that don’t plan to remarry in the near future or who simply don’t want to dissolve their marriage for personal or religious reasons. A legal separation allows couples to live separately, but keep the covenant or religious vows they made on their wedding day.

Children
For children, the idea of a divorce can be difficult. This is especially true for young children, who may feel a sense of guilt or fear upon realizing their parents are divorcing. Legal separation allows some parents to postpone making this difficult decision until their family unit is better equipped to deal with the significant lifestyle changes that come with divorce.

If you’re considering a divorce or legal separation, it’s important to make your final decision with the help of a lawyer experienced in divorce and family law matters.

Ken Phillips
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