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Is Separation Right For You?

We frequently talk to clients about whether they should file for a legal separation (separate maintenance) or a divorce.  The answer usually is in both the emotions and facts of the case. For example, emotionally the parties feel their may be a chance of reconciliation, a separation may be the best course of action.  And from a practical standpoint, a separation is good if both of the parties are on one of the spouse’s employer sponsored health insurance plans and they want to continue the coverage.  Below is a discussion of other common reasons parties may choose a separation over a divorce in Georgia.

You are not 100% sure you want a divorce.

You may be wondering whether a divorce is too big of a step at this moment.  If you have any doubts and think reconciliation is possible in the future, you should consider a separation. It can give you the time and space you need to think about what the next step will be, but can also take most of the steps you would during the divorce process.  If you decide to go through with the divorce, you will already have everything set up to get it done quickly.  And if you want reconciliation, your marriage still exists!

You do not want to put the kids through a divorce.

There is a lot of stigma associated with the word divorce.  Children often feel lost when a divorce tears apart their parents and home and seeking a legal separation can break that fall.  While you and your spouse will work out the details around custody and support, etc., your marriage will not be formally and legally dissolved.  That being said, do not give your children hope that there will be a reconciliation if that will not occur.

You do not want to get a divorce for religious reasons.

Some religions, cultures, families, etc. do not support divorce and if you do not want to file because of such reasons, but still do not want to stay with your spouse a legal separation would be right for you.  You will not be able to remarry or date because you are still legally bound to a marital contract, but will have addressed most of the questions that divorce deals with.

You want some of your spouse’s benefits.

The financial benefits of legal separation include being able to receive healthcare / health insurance and some other financial benefits from your spouse as well as tax filing benefits.

If you are facing a separation or divorce, call us at 770-609-1247 to speak with an attorney about how we can best assist you.