Legal Separation vs. Divorce: Pros & Cons

Couple Arguing

When a married couple decides to separate, they often face a difficult decision: should they pursue a legal separation or a divorce? Although both options have the same end goal of dissolving the marriage, they have very different legal implications. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of a legal separation vs. divorce to help couples make an informed decision.

What Is Legal Separation?

Legal separation is a court order that states the rights and responsibilities of a married couple while they are living apart. It is a formal agreement between spouses that outlines the division of assets, spousal support, and child custody. The agreement is legally binding, and it can be used to settle disputes if the couple decides to reconcile or if they decide to pursue a divorce.

Pros of Legal Separation

  • Legal separation allows couples to remain legally married while living apart.
  • It is less expensive and less time-consuming than a divorce.
  • It allows couples to maintain their health insurance coverage.
  • It provides the opportunity for couples to reconcile without the need for a new marriage.
  • It provides legal protection for both spouses.

Cons of Legal Separation

  • Legal separation does not allow either spouse to remarry.
  • Couples may still have to pay taxes as a married couple.
  • The agreement is legally binding, so it can be difficult to modify if the couple's circumstances change.
  • The agreement does not provide the same protections as a divorce.

What Is Divorce?

Divorce is a court order that terminates the marriage and dissolves the legal obligations between the spouses. It is a permanent solution that allows both spouses to move on with their lives and remarry if they choose.

Pros of Divorce

  • Divorce allows both spouses to remarry.
  • It provides legal protection for both spouses.
  • It allows couples to file taxes as single individuals.
  • It terminates the legal obligations between spouses.
  • It provides the opportunity to start fresh.

Cons of Divorce

  • Divorce can be an expensive and time-consuming process.
  • It can be emotionally and mentally draining.
  • It can be difficult to agree on child custody and spousal support.
  • It can have a negative impact on children.
When it comes to deciding on a legal separation vs. divorce, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Couples should carefully consider the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. The experienced attorneys at Knies, Helland & McPherson Law can help couples in Colorado Springs and the Greater Denver Area, CO understand the legal implications of both legal separation and divorce and guide them through the process. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer!