When a couple chooses to “separate” rather than divorce, they have options as to what they would like their separation to look like, including a permanent separation.
You may choose to separate as a means of testing whether separation is preferable to divorce during a trial separation. During separation, the assets and debts the couple acquires will still be considered marital property. While not technically legally recognized, a trial separation can help couples decide if an official separation is a viable option.
You may be able to change your property rights if you decide to live apart. In some states, you can be required to live apart for a certain period of time before being able to file for a no-fault divorce.
A permanent separation can follow a trial separation or as soon as the couple begins living apart. Typically all assets and debts acquired during a permanent separation are the separate responsibility of each spouse, except for certain debts incurred related to child care or maintaining the marital home.
A legal separation comes about with a court ruling on how the property is to be divided, and how to assign alimony, child support and custody, and child visitation. The court will not grant a divorce, however. This is a permanent separation which is recognized and regulated by the court, while the couple technically remains married, often for religious, financial, or personal reasons.
If you are unsure whether to pursue a permanent separation or divorce, speak with Martin Sir & Associates during your consultation.