Why People Choose Legal Separation Over Divorce
Although laws tend to differ across the states, separation is an attractive and common alternative to couples who are not ready to divorce, financially or emotionally. Often times it is for the financial reason of not being able to afford divorce attorneys, because there are children involved, or because the couple wants to work through their problems eventually. Some states, however, do not recognize separation as a legal action, but there are many different ways that you can work around this. When two individuals want to divorce, they typically sever all of their legal connections. They also give up their duties, rights, and assets as a married couple. But, if the individuals only seek space from each other and want to be legally separated, they can stay in the marriage and divide their assets, rights, and finances. They can also divide custody of minor children. This is a lot easier to do with separated spouses, because no custody agreement is deemed as final until after a divorce is put into play. It is easiest to work with an experienced family attorney such as the family attorney Tampa FL locals turn to so they can make the process easier for both of you.
To help illustrate why legal separation is a better option to most, we can use an example of a couple named Cody and Arianna and their ten year old daughter. Cody has recently obtained a job out of state, but Arianna does not want to move and disturb their daughter?s schooling and social life. They also have a lot of family and friends out there and have raised their daughter in this specific place her whole life. They also are facing marital problems like financial issues, infidelity accusations, and trouble conceiving. Should they get a divorce, or should they file for a legal separation? Arianna, a devout Christian, is concerned that divorce will reflect badly on her religion and she will be looked down upon if remarried. Cody does not know if the out of state job will last because his wife and child do not want to go. Social security benefits, tax, and insurance for couples that are married are a lot better than for those who are divorced, so if Cody?s new job has good benefits, the loss of financial benefits would significantly affect their family. A legal separation can be very attractive to Cody and Arianna because their finances being separated but everything else being shared is easy to work out. This way, Cody could live in his new job?s state and come back to visit their child without shaking up her environment too much. Arianna?s desire to heal her relationship with Cody can also be an option, because they will not be divorced.
Thanks to authors at The McKinney Law Group for their insight into Family Law.add media
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*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.
**Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
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