Written by attorney Kathy Criscuolo Boufford

Divorce vs. Legal Separation

There is no difference in the process, procedure, cost or result between obtaining a divorce or a legal separation. There are life circumstances and other motivating factors that make a legal separation an important consideration for many. Religious mandates are a common reason some elect legal separation over divorce. Insurance is another factor. The health insurance policy of one spouse will often not continue to offer coverage to the other spouse once divorced. Liability is another. A spouse is liable for the “necessary expenses” of their spouse. A legal separation will relieve each spouse from these expenses. Some people want to separate, but are not sure if it is forever. If they decide to get divorced in the future the process is usually streamlined, having been legally separated. If the couple reconciles, they can ask the court to vacate the legal separation.

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