Understanding the difference between separation and divorce

Understanding the difference between separation and divorce

Many couples may opt for divorce following the breakdown of a marriage. However, others may decide to simply separate rather than have to deal with co

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Many couples may opt for divorce following the breakdown of a marriage. However, others may decide to simply separate rather than have to deal with complex legal proceedings and potentially heavy emotions.

We understand that you may be feeling confused, especially if you’re weighing up your options following the end of your marriage. In this article, we’ll be highlighting the differences between separation and divorce.

Should I get divorced or just stay separated?

Filing for divorce is a huge step, especially as it brings one chapter of your life to an end. But, it isn’t as easy as just signing a document to say that you and your partner are no longer married.

The process can be costly and may be drawn out due to disputes. This, in turn, can cause both you and your partner to feel stressed and frustrated, impacting your daily lives.

Separating often feels like a less permanent split, meaning you can avoid the legal proceedings that come with divorce. However, there are some things to consider if you decide to remain separated.

You’ll lose control over how your spouse is managing the matrimonial assets, especially if you’ve decided to live apart following the breakup. And, if your spouse’s circumstances change, the settlement you receive could end up being far less. With divorce, your settlement will based on both of your current financial circumstances.

How do people choose between separation and divorce?

Whether you decide to divorce or separate from your partner, each decision comes with its pros and cons. These include:

Divorce

  • Dissolves a marriage – your relationship legally comes to an end. This allows for both partners to remarry if they wish
  • Cuts any financial ties between both partners

Separation

  • The couple may not have been married long enough to file for divorce
  • The couple may remain in the marriage due to religious reasons
  • Allows couples time apart, away from the conflict of marriage
  • Agreeing on child arrangements can lead to draining court battles – a separation allows you to negotiate on these terms without the costly process

How does separation differ from divorce?

While a separation is not legally binding, you can seek out a Separation Agreement during your marriage. This can protect you financially in the event of separation, as the agreement can be transferred into a financial consent order, should you decide to get divorced in the future.

If you are going through a marriage breakup and are unsure of your options, it’s worth getting legal advice to help you understand if you are ready to start an online divorce. Receiving help from expert family lawyers can help inform your decision and support you through the process.