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How Is Legal Separation Different From Divorce?

By Jeffrey M. Salassa

closeup of Clinton Township divorce attorney helping woman file for legal separation

Have you had thoughts about divorce lately? Are you in an unhappy marriage but are still not ready to give up on your spouse? Divorce is never an easy decision to make, but in many cases people feel that it is their only real option. However, if you are having a hard time coming to terms with the idea of divorce, or you still have every sincere intention of saving your marriage, there are other options available, including a legal separation.

It is important to understand that simply moving apart from one another does not constitute a legal separation in the eyes of the Court. A legal separation, much like a divorce, is also a formal process that both parties have to agree upon. The two main differences between divorce and legal separation are that a legal separation does not terminate the marriage and the parties can remain on each other’s insurance. A legal separation allows spouses to live apart from each other while still remaining married but divides the various assets and liabilities as if the parties were divorcing.

Much like divorce, a legal separation resolves all outstanding issues, including property division, spousal support, child custody, child support and parenting time. One of the advantages of a legal separation is that in the event you do end up deciding to divorce your legal separation agreement can often be modified into a divorce settlement. Thus, many of the complications that arise during the divorce process will already have been resolved.

Most people do not ever want to contemplate ending their marriage, but the fact is many people are stuck in unhappy and unhealthy situations. If you are in such a situation but are not sure about divorce, you may want to consider legal separation. Please contact the Law Office of Iafrate & Salassa in Macomb County to learn more. We can help you weigh your options and even draft a legal separation agreement that both you and your spouse are comfortable with. Additionally, if you do decide to ultimately divorce, having your legal separation agreement in place could make the divorce settlement process run much smoother. Call us today in Macomb County at (586) 263-1600, or click here to contact us online.

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