If you and your spouse have ended your relationship, you can consider either a legal separation or divorce. Before you decide which option to choose, you must understand their similarities, differences, as well as the legal and emotional aftermath they bring. An experienced divorce attorney in Galveston can help you make the right choice. The lawyer will consider your situation and help you understand the pros and cons of every option.
Differences Between Legal Separation and Divorce
Divorce and legal separation are different. But, they also have similarities. Both options legally offer space between couples by creating boundaries and a clear vision in their lives. You will have different places of residence and finances. Also, the court gives orders in terms of matters such as child support, child custody, alimony, and marital assets division.
When you choose to file a divorce, your marriage is legally and formally over. This means you can live as a single individual and can remarry. But, if you choose legal separation, your marriage still exists. This indicates that you can still legally inherit from each other.
Which Option to Choose?
Opting for a legal separation or a divorce is often a matter of personal preferences between spouses. For couples with religious or personal beliefs, a legal separation can let them live separate lives while still married. This makes the spouse entitled to benefits such as pensions that pay surviving spouses and social security. Also, couples can settle important matters like financial or custody issues while staying married and determine what each wants. While a legal separation can be reversed, a divorce can’t be. Many couples prefer to legally separate instead of divorce for their children since it sounds less devastating or as permanent as divorce.
While some states require spouses to be separated before they can divorce, there is no such requirement for couples in Texas. As long as a spouse has been living in the state for six months and has lived in the country for 90 days, a divorce can be filed.
Both legal separation and divorce are not straightforward processes. If you want to live separately from your spouse and are not ready to commit a divorce, a legal separation might be the right fit for your situation. If you are considering getting a divorce or legally separating, you must seek representation from an experienced divorce attorney. Your attorney can give you guidance and support as well as protect your best interests and rights. You may also want to consult with a divorce mediator before beginning the divorce process.