Separation vs. Divorce: What’s The Difference?

A woman holding her former spouse's wedding ring.

In case you weren’t aware, the difference between a separation and a divorce is that the latter doesn’t officially end the marriage. But separation, like divorce, can have repercussions on your legal rights that you may not realize.

It takes a lot of strength to choose to end a marriage. However, as explained by our divorce Attorney in Brooklyn, here is a legal summary to consider if you and your spouse are having marital troubles and aren’t sure if divorce is the best course of action.

What Is Separation?

Getting a separation is like pausing your marriage for a while, like taking a break. When a couple separates, it’s common for them to each find a new place to live and begin new lives apart. While living apart can be done informally, a legal separation requires additional paperwork. To legally separate from your spouse, you must first have a court accept your choice and draft a formal separation agreement.

Simply put, this is like an agreement between spouses that distributes their assets, makes parenting plans, and severs their financial ties to one other.

What Makes A Divorce Different?

After a divorce, the marriage is legally over—our divorce attorney in Queens state that this is a significant distinction between a divorce and a legal separation. Former spouses will need a court to ratify their agreement to split assets and determine parental responsibility. Given the similarities between a divorce and a legal separation, the two processes may share a similar time frame and budget.

Other Differences Between Separation And Divorce

Consulting with our divorce lawyer in Brooklyn will further clarify the difference between separation and divorce, such as the following:

Legal Authority To Make Choices

Following a divorce, a person no longer has the authority to make choices on their spouse’s behalf. However, if the spouses are legally separated but remain married, they will continue to be considered their spouse’s next of kin and will retain the legal right to make choices about their health care and finances.

Having A Say Regarding Any Property

As our divorce lawyer in Queens state, once a couple has permanently separated in some places, neither party after the date of Separation has any legal right to or responsibility for the other’s earnings, debts, or assets obtained

Entitlement To Other Benefits

If spouses decide to part ways but don’t end up getting divorced, they may be able to continue sharing health insurance coverage. However, in the case of a legal separation, the status of benefits may change depending on state laws and the specifics of the benefit at hand.

Therefore, before a permanent or formal separation, it’s essential to evaluate the details of any shared benefits.

Ex-couple agreeing to terms of the settlement agreement.

Our expert divorce lawyers in Queens can help you sort out the complex process of divorce settlements. Besides that, whether you’re looking for a Real Property Law firm lawyer, a litigation lawyer in Queens, or estate planning Brooklyn—we’ve got you covered.

Contact us for more information.



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Separation vs. Divorce: What’s The Difference?

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.