When you no longer wish to live with your spouse, you may decide to seek either a legal separation or a divorce. The impact of divorce is different than the impact of a legal separation and it is important that you understand the difference.
Latimer Stroud, LLP can help you to understand your rights when separating from a spouse and we can assist you with both separation and divorce. Call today to speak with a member of our legal team and learn more.
Legal Separation vs. Divorce
When you get a divorce, your marriage is dissolved by the court and you are no longer considered legally wed in the eyes of the law. You will no longer file joint tax returns or take advantage of certain other benefits available only to married couples. Each spouse is free to dispose of your assets as you wish and to get married again. The “partnership” is terminated. If you wish to resume your prior marriage with your ex-spouse, you will need to get a new marriage license and go through the formal process of remarrying.
When you are legally separated, on the other hand, your marriage is still intact in the eyes of the law. You are still able to file taxes jointly and take advantage of most benefits limited to married couples. You cannot get legally married to other people, and if you wish to resume living together as husband and wife you will not need to formally remarry.
In many cases, people will separate before divorce but will not actually get a legal separation. A legal separation is not required and is voluntary. However, you may wish to get legally separated if you want an executed document specifying your rights and obligations during the period leading up to the official divorce. For example, you may want to have a formal agreement regarding who has custody of the children in the months between the time when you decide to stop living together and the time when your divorce officially becomes legal. You may also wish to get a court order to require your spouse to provide financial support during your separation if you do not have income to live on your own.
A legal separation agreement may be different than the final divorce agreement, but generally the Separation Agreement becomes the basis if your Divorce, depending upon the circumstances.
An experienced attorney can help you to petition the court for a divorce or legal separation in Saratoga and can assist with the process of negotiating a divorce settlement or a separation agreement. Call Latimer Stroud, LLP today to speak with a member of our legal team and to learn more.
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