Divorce or Separation: How to Decide

Every couple struggles at one point or another. Divorce is a big decision that may come up for couples who no longer wish to be married. Legal separation is another option that is also great for couples who are struggling. There are many key differences between divorce and legal separation, as well as certain pros and cons. Depending on your unique situation, you may find that one option could be more helpful than the other. 

What Is a Legal Separation? 

A legal separation is an alternative to divorce. This option is for couples who do not wish to live together anymore, but who also do not want to end their marriage. This option is great for couples who need to work through personal or financial issues affecting their marriage. Under a legal separation, a marriage can be extended for ten years. This means that a couple will still receive certain benefits, such as income tax benefits. 

What Is a Divorce? 

Sometimes, a couple can’t make things work again. Divorce happens when a couple decides that they no longer wish to be married to one another anymore. This couple will sign legal papers that will make them single once more. This means that they can marry another person (if they wish to do so). 

Differences Between Divorce and Legal Separation 

When it comes to remarriage, a divorce cannot be reversed without legal reunification. However, with a legal separation, a couple can remarry much more easily. In a legal separation, spouses are still responsible for each other’s debts. During a divorce, debts are handled during the process of dissolution. 

In a legal separation, your spouse will still be considered your next of kin and can make financial or medical decisions for you. If you are divorced, however, your ex-spouse will not be considered your next of kin. When you legally separate from your spouse, you still maintain your marital status. This means that you may not marry others. If you divorce your spouse, you will be free to remarry. 

Legal separation will allow you to retain health care and certain benefits (such as social security benefits). Divorcing your spouse will terminate these benefits. Property benefits can also be retained during a legal separation. Divorce will also extinguish these benefits. 

Does COVID-19 Prevent You From Filing for Divorce or Legal Separation

Many states have called for their citizens to shelter in place to slow the spread of coronavirus. You may be wondering if it is even possible to file for a divorce or legal separation during this time. The good news is that you can still file for a divorce or legal separation during this time. Many courthouses are still functioning as per usual. Depending on your location, your courthouse may be short-staffed, meaning that it could take a bit longer to go through with the process of divorce or legal separation. If you are worried about how coronavirus will affect your case, you may want to get in touch with a divorce lawyer. 

Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Florida

Are you searching for a divorce lawyer in Florida with experience and skill? Paul H. Bowen Law is located in Palm Harbor, FL, and has been handling legal matters in Florida for over 20 years. Paul H. Bowen is a divorce lawyer you can depend on. Mr. Bowen has over 30 years of experience working as a divorce lawyer and can help you with other matters, such as child support or custody issues. For a consultation, call us at (727) 773-1554.