Although many couples would much rather end their marriage and go their separate ways in life, there are others that may not be quite so certain. Alternatively, there may be extenuating circumstances, such as religion or domestic violence, that can either rule out or complicate the traditional divorce process. Is legal separation a viable alternative in these situations, or is it simply a waste of time and money? The following explores this question further, and it provides you with some details on where to find assistance with your decision.
Separation versus Divorce
Some think that separation is like divorce. Others assume that it is the first step to divorce. Both beliefs are incorrect. Unlike divorce, separation does not break the marital bond. The couple remains married, so neither party can remarry without a full, legal divorce. Separated spouses can pursue alimony and child support, however, and they can seek a determination on the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time for any shared children.
Why Choose Separation?
Since separation and divorce are different legal paths, and separation is not necessary for a divorce, some may be confused as to the purpose of separation. Again, legal separation allows each party the ability to pursue certain forms of support, but it can do much more than just this. It can also give couples the space they need to work through their differences so they can reunite without ever having breached their marriage vows.
Alternatively, a legal separation can give spouses the time they need to decide if divorce may be the next, most logical step. It may also be used as an alternative to divorce if either party is strongly opposed to divorce, either because of religious or moral values. Additionally, it can help domestic violence victims move toward divorce in a slower and potentially safer manner.
Is Separation the Right Option for You?
Only you can decide if separation is the right legal path for you and your family. However, there is somewhere that you can find guidance. An experienced family law attorney can examine your case, help you understand your options, and explain both processes to you. An attorney can also protect your rights, regardless of the avenue you choose.
If you are planning on filing for separation or divorce but are not sure which path might be most appropriate for your situation, contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for assistance. Our dedicated Will County family law attorneys have over 200 years of combined experience. We protect your rights at every turn and will always serve your best interests. Schedule your consultation by calling 815-726-9200.