Why Should I Get a Legal Separation

Why Should I Get a Legal Separation?

A legal separation is a formalized process that allows couples to live separately while remaining legally married. It provides a variety of benefits and may be a suitable alternative to divorce for some individuals. In this article, we will explore the reasons why you might consider getting a legal separation and provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

1. Preservation of marital status: Some couples choose legal separation as a way to maintain their marital status for personal, religious, or financial reasons. It allows them to live apart but still retain the legal benefits and protections that come with marriage.

2. Time for reflection: Legal separation provides couples with an opportunity to evaluate their relationship without immediately jumping into divorce proceedings. It allows time for reflection, counseling, and potential reconciliation.

3. Retain marital benefits: Legal separation often allows couples to retain certain marital benefits, such as health insurance coverage or survivor benefits, which may be lost in the event of a divorce.

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4. Financial considerations: A legal separation can help couples sort out financial matters before proceeding with a divorce. It allows them to determine financial responsibilities and division of assets while still married.

5. Parenting arrangements: Legal separation allows couples to establish temporary or permanent parenting arrangements, including custody, visitation rights, and child support, without terminating the marriage.

6. Religious beliefs: In cases where divorce is not accepted by religious beliefs, legal separation provides an alternative that allows couples to live separately but still adhere to their religious principles.

7. Social security benefits: For couples who have been married for at least ten years, legal separation may enable one spouse to claim social security benefits based on the other spouse’s work history, even if they later divorce.

8. Residency requirements: In some jurisdictions, divorce may have stricter residency requirements than legal separation. Opting for a legal separation allows couples to meet these requirements while they determine whether divorce is the right choice.

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9. Emotional well-being: Legal separation can provide a much-needed respite from the emotional strain of a troubled marriage. It allows couples to live apart, potentially reducing conflict and providing space for personal growth.


1. Is legal separation the same as divorce?
No, legal separation allows couples to live apart while still being married, whereas divorce permanently ends the marriage.

2. Can I remarry if I’m legally separated?
No, you are still legally married, so you cannot remarry. To remarry, you would need to obtain a divorce.

3. Do I need a lawyer for legal separation?
While it is not required to have a lawyer, it is advisable to seek legal counsel to ensure your rights and interests are protected.

4. Can I change my legal separation into a divorce later?
Yes, legal separation can be converted into a divorce if both parties agree.

5. Are assets and debts divided in legal separation?
Yes, assets and debts can be divided in a legal separation, similar to a divorce.

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6. Can I still receive spousal support in legal separation?
Yes, spousal support can be awarded in a legal separation, depending on the circumstances.

7. Is legal separation recognized in all states?
Legal separation is recognized in some states, but not all. It is important to consult local laws to determine if it is an option where you reside.

8. How long does a legal separation last?
The duration of a legal separation varies depending on individual circumstances. It can be temporary or continue indefinitely.

9. Can legal separation be revoked?
Yes, legal separation can be revoked if both parties agree to reconcile or if they decide to proceed with a divorce.

In conclusion, a legal separation offers couples an alternative to divorce that allows for reflection, resolution of financial matters, establishment of parenting arrangements, and retention of marital benefits. It is a personal decision that requires careful consideration and legal advice to ensure the best outcome for all parties involved.