When a marriage is over, a Virginia couple will face the challenge of legally ending the relationship and separating their two lives. This can be a difficult and complex process, and for many reasons, a couple may not be ready to proceed with a divorce quite yet. In this situation, a couple may consider the benefits of a legal separation over a divorce. It may be helpful to understand the differences between these two options.
Is one better than another?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to ending a marriage. A legal separation is an option for couples that no longer want to live together, but are not ready to divorce for various reasons. A formal separation agreement will outline important issues such as spousal support, child support, division of property and more. A carefully drafted agreement reduces the chance of disputes during a time of separation.
A separation agreement can lay the foundation for a strong divorce decree if the couple decides to move forward with that step later. A divorce will formally end all legal and financial ties between two spouses while a legal separation does not. Couples may choose to first separate for reasons that include religious beliefs, financial concerns and more.
Help for important decisions
A spouse will benefit from having experienced legal guidance whether he or she is seeking a legal separation or will be pursuing a divorce. It may be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney regarding the best way to protect one’s rights, regardless of which option the couple chooses. This counsel may also be important when drafting a legal separation agreement or preparing for a divorce.