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A legal separation is an arrangement ordered by the court whereby a married couple gets to live apart, leading their own lives. A legal separation is one of the popular alternatives to a divorce when the couple is unsure of their marriage state, but still wants to establish financial responsibilities and boundaries, like child support, dependents’ custody and separation of assets.
However, those who are looking forward to getting a divorce, a legal separation could be needed before getting a divorce granted.
Though reasons for looking for a legal separation differ, there are some common explanations that must be noted. Certain religions forbid married couples from taking a divorce; thus, a legal separation helps get the benefits of a divorce without comprising religious beliefs.
Also, the ones who are unsure of their marriage’s future can go with this separation while simultaneously hoping to get reconciled. Often, couples who have infants or toddlers may say that a legal separation is adequate for their child(ren) in comparison to a divorce.
Although both the parents may live their own lives, the family functions together, maintaining stability. Moreover, a few additional reasons to opt for this type of arrangement could be retirement benefits or to retain health.
Once the real separation date is determined, it freezes the ability of the spouse to independently spend money from a joint Bank account or credit card (if available). It also restricts the control over assets, such as vehicles and properties.
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One thing that people must note here is that it is essential to treat a legal separation as a divorce as both of them are court orders, comprising obligations and duties that each of the party should uphold legally.
In case the couple decides to take a divorce later, judges might consider separation agreement’s details while ruling on the potential divorce. However, these days, several couples may choose to get separate without any court order as it is much simpler and prevents expenses that may have to be invested in legal proceedings.
The upsurging trends toward no-fault divorces and informal separations are turning formal legal separation more of a rare subject. If a couple is deciding to part their ways, a legal separation may allow them to keep entitlements intact.
For instance, a spouse in the military may keep their marriage for a decade to avail advantages of allowances provided.