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Advantages and disadvantages of a legal separation

| May 21, 2021 | divorce |

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.