Separation vs. Divorce

Owens & Perkins

What’s the difference and how do you know which works best for you?

Sometimes, when a couple wants to go their separate ways, divorce isn’t always the answer. The biggest difference between a divorce and legal separation is a divorce ends the marriage, while legal separation does not.

For example, famous couple Bruce and Kris Jenner filed for legal separation this past October. The couple claimed they will always remain best friends and a divorce isn’t in the works. You might be thinking, why? What is the point of a legal separation? Although we might never know the truth behind Bruce and Kris Jenner’s separation, below are following possible reasons that a couple can file for legal separation.

- For religious or other reasons it is not acceptable for the parties to divorce; however, they do not wish to live with or be financially tied to the other spouse.

- Although the relationship has broken down, one spouse has a serious medical condition and needs to continue on the medical coverage afforded by the other spouse’s policy.

- The spouses wish to keep living together; however, one spouse cannot control their spending or simply is not good with money and the financial strain is putting a burden on the family.

- At the beginning of a case, if a spouse may not be sure if they want to proceed with a divorce.

From a legal standpoint, the process of legal separation is the same as a divorce. It requires the same disclosure of assets and debts, allocation of those assets and debts and drafting the necessary documents to compete the process.

After the process is finalized, the parties are legally separated BUT not divorced. If after a period of time, one or both of the parties want to divorce they will have to file another action, pay another full set of filing fees, and go through the whole process again although most, if not all, of the issues will already be settled from the legal separation proceeding.

Owens & Perkins, Scottsdale family law attorneys, are experienced in both legal separation and divorce, as well as other family law matters. Please contact one of our family law attorneys for a consultation to discuss what works best for you and your family at (480) 630-2464.

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