Divorce Or Legal Separation?

There are many reasons people choose to legally separate rather than divorce. Although most legal separations end up in divorce court within three years, many people feel no need to proceed any further.

The most common advantage ascribed to choosing legal separation rather than divorce is that legal separation does not end your marriage. It gives people the chance to arrange their affairs, reflect, and perhaps forgive and eventually reconcile, whether for their own sakes or for the sake of their children. Legal separation may also be more palatable to people whose religious traditions do not allow for divorce.

Another important consideration is your financial future.  Divorce almost invariably leaves people in worse financial shape than when they were married. For a younger spouse married to an older spouse, divorce may mean sacrificing certain long-term benefits in the event of death, whereas legal separation may preserve your eligibility for these benefits in the future. Legal separation may offer each spouse a chance to see whether both can stand on their own two financial feet successfully prior to deciding whether to call the marriage quits or get back together.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that legal separation is “divorce lite,” a process that can be handled cheaply and without recourse to the legal system. In the State of Connecticut, one spouse has to petition for legal separation, and that petition is followed by a requirement to make financial disclosures, custody arrangements and asset division agreements,much along the lines you would negotiate in a divorce settlement. In the not-unlikely event that your separation blossoms into a full-fledged divorce, these arrangements can be used as the basis for your divorce settlement.

Whether you are contemplating divorce or legal separation, you should do it right. Hirsch Legal, LLC is one of Connecticut’s experienced family and divorce law practices. Our principal attorney, Carmina K. Hirsch, is recognized among her clients and peers as an effective advocate, litigator, and mediator. We can help you draft or vet a legal separation agreement that honors your autonomy, preserves your financial security, provides stability for your children, and does not impede your chances of securing a fair settlement in the event you eventually decide to divorce.

Hirsch Legal, LLC, based in Shelton, Connecticut, is focused on serving clients in New Haven and in upper Fairfield County (Danbury, Monroe, Trumbull, Bridgeport, Milford, Waterbury). We recommend contacting an attorney at the outset of your matter so that we can help you manage the process as smoothly as possible. Give us a call today!

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