If you and your spouse are experiencing significant discord in your marriage, you may be considering a divorce. While divorcing does solve some of your immediate issues, it will put a definitive end to your relationship. In cases where the couple is uncertain if they want a permanent split or wish to avoid some of the complications of a divorce, a legal separation may offer at least a temporary solution.
Kentucky family law supports legal separation for those who are not ready to commit to a complete divorce. The process is much like a divorce in that you must decide:
- How to split your marital assets and debts
- How to address child custody and visitation if you have minor children
- How to create fair child support and spousal maintenance agreements
As you can see, a legal separation is almost the same as divorce, except that you and your spouse will remain legally married.
What are the pros and cons of a legal separation?
It depends upon you, your spouse and what you both hope to accomplish on a long-term basis. For example, if both of you feel that reconciliation is possible but want to live apart for a while, separation may be a good idea. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of legally separating include:
- Pro: Spending time apart to see how you both feel about your relationship.
- Con: You will face legal expenses, just as you would in a divorce.
- Pro: An uninsured spouse may remain covered on the spouse’s insurance policy.
- Con: An unethical spouse could take advantage of the situation to deplete jointly-held marital assets.
- Pro: If you end up divorcing, you could transform your separation agreement into a divorce decree, making it easier for you and your spouse.
- Con: Legally separating may make one or both of you feel like your entire life is on hold.
Often, seeking legal guidance from a family law professional helps you form an objective viewpoint about your marriage. What you take away from an attorney consultation may help you choose between a legal separation and a divorce.