What is the difference between divorce And Legal Separation?

There are some big differences between legal separation and divorce, and I will cover several of them here.

Separation is often what a married couple does when they decide to move apart.

Legal Separation Not Done Through The Court

There is nothing done through the court system. Sometimes they will sign a contract between the two parties that maybe lays out some monetary exchange and child parenting time exchange, but that is about it. It is similar to, but different from, a divorce that is done through the court, although I generally don’t advise a separation.

Legal separations are usually only done in cases where there is an insurance problem or some very specific reason for it, but basically it says that the couple is still legally married.

They are still bound in some way but all their proper property has been divided. With their children of the marriage there all of their parenting decisions may have been sort of sorted out through the court and for all practical purposes the couple is separated and mostly divorced and a legal separation can be converted into a full divorce.

A Legal Divorce Is A Better Option

A legal divorce is kind of your run-of-the-mill what you think of as a divorce so you have a married couple and during the divorce you divide all of their assets, all of their property.

And, you determine whether there will be alimony, and how much alimony. If there are children involved you determine whether there will be child support and how much.

You determine how much time each child will spend with each parent and you will determine how decisions will be made between the two parents.

Divorce results in two single, completely separate people in the eyes of the law, while a legal separation does not address the legal aspects.

I usually don’t recommend a legal separation, due to many of the reasons stated above. If you are exploring a divorce, you might want to explore my Low Cost Divorce Kit if you would like the benefits of a legal divorce without the high costs associated with a lawyer-assisted divorce.


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