No two marriages are exactly the same. It therefore stands to reason that no two married couples navigate the challenges of their unions in the exact same ways. If your marriage has become unhealthy or unhappy, you may be contemplating the option of filing for divorce. But if you remain unsure of whether or not divorce is the healthiest option for you and your family, it may make sense to either separate informally or file for a legal separation until you and your spouse can determine which path forward is the healthiest.
The primary difference between an informal separation and a legal separation is that legal separations are recognized by the courts. When you file for a legal separation, you may address matters of property division, spousal support, child support and child custody in ways that are legally enforceable. Should you opt for an informal separation, none of the arrangements you make will be legally enforceable for certain.
For some couples, separation makes sense. This step allows each spouse space and time to evaluate options for the future without having to navigate the pressures of the other spouse’s consistent presence. Some couples can successfully pursue informal separations while others need or desire the protections that a legal separation affords.
If you have questions about separation, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced family law attorney in your area. Meeting with an attorney will not commit you to any course of action, but it will ensure that the choice you make is an informed one.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Does Taking a Break From Your Relationship Postpone the Inevitable?” Terry Gaspard, April 3, 2015