Is There a Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?
Is There a Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?

Is There a Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?

A question our team of family law attorneys gets asked all the time is if legal separation is recognized in Texas. And if so, what is the difference between that and a divorce?

While there are some states that do recognize legal separation, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Mississippi, and Florida do not. In these states, only divorce is recognized. With that said, legal separation is a real thing in some jurisdictions, and there is a difference between it and divorce.

For discussion purposes, below is a brief overview of what legal separation is — even though it is not an option in Texas.

What constitutes a legal separation?

When a couple separates rather than choosing to divorce, it simply means they are not living together. For example, a wife could stay in the house with the children while the husband lives with a friend a few miles away or rents an apartment. They may even go so far as to separate their finances (bank accounts). What you must realize, however, is that living apart does not constitute a legal separation — no matter what state you live in.

Spouses are not legally separated in the states that recognize legal separation until they petition a court to recognize their separation and define it by contract. Couples may choose legal separation rather than a divorce for several reasons:

  • Not living together keeps tensions low and leaves the door open to reconciliation.
  • Tax, insurance, and healthcare benefits are not affected by the separation.
  • A legal separation doesn’t go against their religious beliefs.
  • They can lay out parameters for child or spousal support while remaining married.

Call Nelson Law Group Today!!

A divorce is a significant, life-changing event, and the effects of this difficult time will undoubtedly be felt for a while. But if you can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you and your family, perhaps this is the right time to push forward with a new life.

Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today!

For more information about Brett A. Nelson, click here.

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Source: Nelson Law Group