Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/rhowto/public_html/divorce/wp-includes/post.php on line 218

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/rhowto/public_html/divorce/wp-includes/post.php on line 218

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/rhowto/public_html/divorce/wp-includes/post.php on line 218

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/rhowto/public_html/divorce/wp-includes/post.php on line 218

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/rhowto/public_html/divorce/wp-includes/post.php on line 218

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/rhowto/public_html/divorce/wp-includes/post.php on line 218

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/rhowto/public_html/divorce/wp-includes/post.php on line 218

In this post, I will share with you my thoughts on legal separation vs divorce and why my x-wife and I chose as we did.

When you get to the point in your marriage where things have not been working out for awhile, you will be faced with making some sort of decision.  As you may have read, my wife and I went through lots of therapy, Dr. Phil books, and endless discussions to make our marriage work.

We each put in a significant amount of effort to make our marriage work.  Unfortunately, we were each trying to fit a “circle in a square”…it just was not working.  We had become different people.  She had become someone else after we married, someone who prioritized money before all else.  As you may have read in the cost of divorce, the college sweetheart who prized happiness above a BMW metamorphosed into Ivana Trump.

So, after all this trying, you are left with a decision:  Legal Separation or Divorce?

As you look at a legal separation vs divorce, you are really analyzing whether time away will benefit either of you.  In the article Marriage: Should You Keep Working At It Or Call It Quits?, I addressed some of the issues that you may want to consider.

I would say that you should choose a legal separation only if you think that the relationship still has a chance.  Honestly, often people just do need time apart and this can be achieved through a legal separation.  In fact, it can be achieved just through a separation without going through the rigor-moral of a legal separation.

As you read on this page, there are issues that you have to deal with when you choose a legal separation.

During a legal separation, you have a court order that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse while they are living apart.

Thus, if your goal is a “trial separation”, do you really want to involve the court system? If you have a chance to make it work, which presumably you do if you only desire a separation, do you really need to file paperwork with the authorities to “legally separate”.

Legal separations often involve most of the legalities of a full-fledged divorce. During a legal separation, couples may make decisions which involve issues such as child custody, child visitation rights, child support, and spousal support, a prelude to alimony. Basically, a “legal separation” may, in some cases, be as taxing as a divorce. And, after all that, you’re still married!

There are other reasons that you may want to get a legal separation versus a divorce and most of these are financial: insurance, taxation, and social security.

In the case of insurance, a legal separation may allow one of the parties continued coverage whereas a divorce may not. Issues with taxes arise as some may want to continue to receive a “marriage deduction”. And finally, various forms of social security require marriage to be a certain amount of years.

So, how should you decide? Should you get a legal separation, just separate, or get a divorce?

Obviously, I cannot answer that question for you. I can, however, give you my personal story, which is what this blog Healthy Divorce is all about.

I think that you need to ask yourself a fundamental question: Does the marriage have a chance? I ask this, because in my mind, this is the only reason to have any form of separation rather than a divorce. Would the time apart allow you to see the person in a different light? Would the difference allow you to be more objective?

If so, I would recommend a separation, though probably not a legal separation. When you begin a legal separation, you are engaging more people who will charge you money to be apart. If you have a chance to make it work, can’t the two of you come to your own separation agreement and abide by it without involving lawyers? If not, maybe divorce is the right track.

Finally, and most importantly, you need to consider your kids if you have them. My kids are the most important people in my life; they are my loves and you need to factor in how this will affect them.

Presumably, if you are considering legal separation or divorce, you marriage has not been a positive experience for the kids for some time. Any form of separation is liable to draw this out for the kids and may make their presently difficult emotional lives more challenging. Imagine them explaining to their friends why mommy and daddy don’t live together anymore. So, make sure that you factor your kids in more than any other concern.

On my end, even though I went through a divorce, I hold marriage in very high regard. If you have a chance to really make it work, go for a separation and use the time to rediscover the love that you had. But, if its over, and you know it, do not prolong the inevitable because it will make it more difficult for everyone. In these cases, divorce is the best option.

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