How Separation Differs from Divorce
Separation is an alternative to divorce, and has some significant differences that you should be familiar with when analyzing your options as your marriage begins to deteriorate.
The most significant difference is that a divorce is the undisputed end of your marriage. Legal separation keeps the marriage intact, and you have the option to return to normal married life should you agree to do so. Separation typically involves a period of time living apart, while still sharing legal responsibility for raising children, among other joint responsibilities of marriage. Courts can decide child custody issues in separation as they do in divorce, and you may go through the asset division process. However, you are still legally husband and wife, and you have the option to end these arrangements when you so choose.
You also still need to go through the divorce hearing process should you choose to get a divorce while already separated. If you agree on all the issues of the divorce it will be uncontested and go much more smoothly, but you still are required to go through the legal process all the way through the signing of your divorce decree.
If you choose to get a legal separation, you must reside in the state in which the court will hear your case, same as in a divorce. Tax filing status may also be affected by legal separation, depending on when you filed the separation.
As you think about moving on from your current marriage, you may consider the pros and cons of separation versus divorce. For further guidance on this important issue, consult a knowledgeable Long Island family law attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.