Whats the difference between legal separation and divorce? 10 Answers as of March 28, 2016

Would the spouse like to go for legal separation? How is it different from Divorce? Not sure which is the better way to do this. Can you please enlighten me?

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Law Office of Barton R. Resnicoff | Barton R. Resnicoff
The inquiry really can't be responded to fully here. A legal separation occurs when something is signed or a judgment issued confirming the separation, such as a separation agreement or a judgment of separation. Just living separate and apart does not qualify. The process to obtain a judgment of separation is almost identical to that to obtain a judgment of divorce except to be divorced, you have to go through the entire process a second time. On a practical level, if the marriage is over, unless there is a good reason, you should not sue for a judgment of separation. The only possible good reason would be to continue medical insurance coverage, not an insignificant goal. Religious or emotional reasons might also result in going the separation route. Now that there is true no fault in NY, except for what has been mentioned, there should be no reason to request a separation.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/28/2016
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
Legal separation is not recognized in Pennsylvania. The parties are still married and their rights and obligations with regard to each other and their property interests remain the same as though they were living under the same roof. Divorce is the manner in which the parties terminate the marital relationship and the rights and obligations they have toward each other and their property.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 3/25/2016
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
A legal separation occurs when the parties jointly decide not to live together and provide. For the division of personal property, expenses, bills and assets however they chose not to terminate. Marriage at this time. Divorce is a final split between the parties so that in law they return to separate and distinct legal entities, no longer joined by law.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/23/2016
Attorney at Law | Aimee C. Robbins
Its really no different except you cannot get remarried. This was a concept developed by the catholic church-who lobbied state legislatures.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 3/23/2016
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Only a very small percentage of family law cases seek legal separation. In my experience it has been about 1% of the total f divorces + legal separations. They are very similar, in that in the Separation petition the Petitioner must state that 'the marital relation is broken,' whereas in a divorce petition you write that 'the marriage is irretrievably broken.' Of the separations I have done, all of them have turned into regular divorces. The most frequent reason for seeking a legal separation is that one of the spouses needs medical insurance. When he or she finds a job which offers that benefit, they turn the separation into a divorce. But in most respects (division of property and debt, support, child custody and placement, etc. the orders and judgments are much the same.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 3/23/2016
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    The primary distinction between a legal separation and divorce is that a legal separation does not end the marriage but the divorce does. A legal separation will divide property ,deal with support and parenting just like a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2016
    Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro
    Law Offices of Gerard A Fierro | Gerard A Fierro
    A divorce returns the spouses to the status of single persons; a legal separation does not. In a legal separation, the parties can divide property and debt and request support similar to a divorce but they remain married persons. If a separation is done and the parties later want a divorce they need to file a new Petition and pay a new court fee.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2016
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    There is very little difference in reality, in one situation you remain actually and legally married, and the other you are divorced and the marriage is ended. I would consult with an attorney regarding your various options and what you're seeking to accomplish.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/23/2016
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar | Mandy J. McKellar
    A legal separation separates and ends the community. But your still married. I only recommend doing it when there is a health insurance issue. I tell people it's a quick layover to divorce town. 9 times out of 10 it's best to just file the divorce. Call our office for a free consultation 702 816 5200.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/23/2016
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    There are some complicated tax and health insurance implications that follow from divorce that are not impacted by separation. How those would affect your situation is something you should discuss with a local divorce attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/23/2016
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