Permanent Separation or Divorce?

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 free consultation.

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