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Possible advantages to legal separation rather than divorce

Many couples get married with the plan to be together for the long run. However, sometimes difficulties arise that may cause them to consider a form of separation.

For those who may not be completely sold on getting a divorce, separation may be a reasonable choice. In fact, there are some possible advantages to legal separation rather than divorce.


Divorce and legal separation are quite similar in the legal sense. In fact, they are so similar that parties may complete the same forms for the initial filing for either process. The courts separate the marital property of the two parties, and even award custody orders and alimony. In essence, both processes result in the separation of two parties that previously functioned as one.


In terms of the legal process, the only difference between divorce and legal separation is that a divorce completely dissolves the marriage and a separation does not. However, that difference in itself creates additional differences. For example, should the couple decide to reconcile, the process of legally reinstating the marriage is different. Also, from a religious standpoint, some may view the two differently; whereas some people practicing a certain religion may look down upon those who get a divorce, they may be more accepting of a separation.


A separation is usually an amicable process, and with both parties agreeing, the separation is usually a quicker and more cost-effective option than divorce. It helps to decrease the tension as well, so both parties are able to maintain somewhat of a normal routine in their lives as they make the transition. In cases that involve children, separation tends to be less taxing upon them, because the home remains somewhat harmonious, and they do not have to experience the turmoil of court.

Though they provide similar results, divorce and legal separation are two different processes. So, someone who is considering taking a break with a spouse may want to consider whether a separation has benefits in that circumstance.

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