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Jim Moskowitz
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Three Reasons a Legal Separation Could be More Beneficial than Divorce

Relationships change and the feelings present at the beginning of a marriage might not be the same years or decades into the relationship. For some couples, though, divorce is not an option. Despite no longer having a desire to live under the same roof, filing for divorce is not the next logical step for these couples. In these cases, legal separation could provide relief from an unhappy relationship while still keeping the marriage legally intact.

Though a couple has the option of separating without taking their issue to court, a legal separation is one that is recognized by the court. Couples who pursue a legal separation face the same issues as divorcing couples (e.g. division of property and debt, child custody, visitation, child support and spousal support). They are also restricted from remarrying. Some couples view legal separation as a trial divorce, testing the waters of living separate lives and easing into a divorce, while others view it as a temporary solution to resolving problems within the marriage.

Every relationship is different and what might seem like a valid reason for a legal separation might not feel the same for others. What are three of the most common reasons couples choose legal separation over divorce?

Insurance Coverage

Sometimes the reason a couple decides to remain legally married is because it’s necessary to maintain insurance coverage. Coverage for a spouse typically costs less than if that same person purchased coverage as an individual so, to keep the cost of coverage reasonable, they stay legally bound to one another. However, it is becoming common practice for insurance carriers to terminate and/or deny coverage in the event of a legal separation. Therefore, it is best to review insurance policies carefully to determine if coverage will remain intact or terminate upon a legal separation.

Personal Beliefs

Other couples choose a legal separation over a divorce due to personal beliefs. Sometimes this is related to their religion and other times it is just an individual belief. Related to this is the pressure some couples receive from their families to stay legally married. In some instances, a couple will choose a legal separation because they know divorce will cause a great deal of tension and difficulty with relatives.

Reconciliation is Possible

Finally, some spouses opt for a legal separation because they are not ready to divorce. According to DivorceStatistic.com only 10 to 15% of couples who separate within a given year eventually reconcile, but it is possible.

When a couple chooses a legal separation as a temporary solution, there is hope on the part of one or both spouses that time apart could allow them to work through their differences and reconcile the marriage. Legal separation provides these couples with some protections while allowing them to live their day-to-day lives separately.

The attorneys at Moskowitz & Moskowitz, LLC understand how difficult it can be to make decisions about ending or altering a marriage. We skillfully represent our clients in all aspects of family law.

 

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