There are many advantages and benefits to choosing a legal separation rather than a divorce when you are trying to make the right decision for your family. A legal separation is a contract between two spouses that is honored by the court. This is the paperwork that needs to be done if a couple chooses to stay married while living separately. There are many reasons that a couple might choose a separation over a divorce. These include: co-parenting benefits, access to medical insurance, financial benefits, religious reasons, or just so that they can meet the state’s mandatory separation period (if this applies).
One of the greatest things about a legal separation is that it can help outline issues between spouses for their children. The papers will outline where the child should live, who has the responsibility to make the final decisions, who is required to be financially responsible for the child, and the visitation schedule for the other parent. With legal separation papers you are not going to have to fight and argue about these issues as they are all outlined. If someone does not follow through with this, they can be held in contempt (obviously this is something that is going to look bad if they want to eventually get a divorce). There are many experts that give advice and tips on how to get children through a divorce or separation effectively with the least amount of damage.
Another huge benefit for spouses comes in the form of medical coverage. During a legal separation spouses still have access to the same medical benefits that they had while married. This is something that can be done if one spouse is ill and unable to get their own medical coverage.
You can also have a lot of financial benefits with a legal separation. The biggest one being that the spouse who makes more money could potentially have to pay spousal support. Also the spouse who has the majority of custody of the child is going to receive child support during the separation. If legal separation papers are not filed, this is not the case and the individual that is not caring for the child is not going to be held responsible.
In many religions it is taboo to be divorced. In some cases it is so taboo that the people who practice that religion believe that they have no way to access the highest point of their afterlife. So many times a religious couple might opt for a legal separation. This could potentially mean that they could stay married for the rest of their lives to achieve the ultimate gift after they have died. Plus about 14% of the couples who file separation papers reunite which could mean that they are able to work things out and continue to be married happily.
Meeting the State’s Mandatory Periods
Depending on which state that you live in and whether or not the divorce is mutual, your state might require up to 2 full years of separation before your divorce will be granted. This is something that is important to consider and research so that you know what your state expects. By filling the paperwork there is no way that your ex can try to say that you have not been separated the minimum period of time.
Continued Work on the Marriage
If you still love your spouse and want to try and make things work with them, then separation should be your first choice. During your separation you can determine if you are happier alone or together. You can also go to counseling, either as an individual to work on your own problems and/or as a couple. This gives you a chance to air all issues that you have and to learn about all of the issues that your spouse has. It is a great way to make sure that you are both happy with the end result. If continued effort doesn’t work and a divorce is the only option, click here for when it’s time for finally file for divorce