When spouses experience conflict within their marriage, they may decide to solve the problem by living separate lives. For most people, leading a separate life means divorcing one’s spouse, but that is not the only option available. Couples who need some time apart can also consider separation. In general, separation and divorce have the same results, but they are fundamentally different from each other.
When a married couple gets a divorce, they have decided to live the rest of their lives completely separated from each other, and they are not financially or legally bound to one another at all. A person who is divorced is free to remarry should he or she choose to do so, and his or her former spouse is not entitled to any sort of inheritance. Divorce proceedings address the division of debts and assets, child custody and child support if the couple has any children, and spousal support.
A separation accomplishes many of the same things that a divorce accomplishes. Separation proceedings also address issues like the division of assets, and the separated couple lives separately. Unlike divorce, a separation does not end the marriage. Separated couples are still married, but they have agreed to live apart, likely because living together had proven to be ineffective. Separated couples are still eligible for certain benefits such as social security, medical, and military benefits, and they can still inherit from each other. Someone who is separated but not divorced may not remarry until the current marriage is ended.
Contact a Greeley family lawyer at Peek Law Firm for the guidance and support you need while going through a separation or divorce.