How Does Legal Separation Differ from Divorce | Andalman & Flynn Law Firm
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Legal Separation vs. Divorce: What’s the Difference?

May 14, 2021 | Divorce Law, Separation and Divorce

By:  Amanda Vann

When you realize your marriage is no longer working, you have other options available to you other than divorce. Most spouses only think of divorce, which can bring on an onslaught of emotional and financial stress. But another option that is viable is legal separation. It would be best if you discussed whether or not you could benefit from a legal separation with an attorney.

Divorce May Not Be the Best Option For You

The legality of getting married means you agree to enter into a contract that makes all property acquired, including your wages, real property, personal property, retirement, and investment accounts, joint marital property regardless of how the report or asset is titled.

When your marriage is over, most people think that the only option is divorce. In Maryland, one way to obtain a divorce is if the spouses reach an agreement that divides all marital assets and sets forth the financial responsibilities of each spouse. If the parties can’t reach an agreement, a judge will decide how their assets and financial obligations will be divided.

Divorce is permanent and dissolves the marital contract, meaning the parties can no longer operate as one family unit. But there is another option.

Getting a Divorce Does Not Make Sense For All Families

A legal separation can be an alternative option because it grants the same benefits of the division of assets and responsibilities without the finality of a divorce. In a legal separation, the parties reach an amicable separation agreement that details the physical separation, custody, and payment of expenses. This agreement gives parties the time to plan and prepare and not be bound by a court calendar of pre-scheduled hearings and musts.

A legal separation is an excellent option for couples who may not yet be sure they want a divorce. Some couples need time to go through marriage counseling to work through their issues. Other couples with children often prefer to still function as a family unit and not go through the formal process to keep the family intact. Some spouses or their children have severe medical conditions that make a legal separation a better financial solution than a divorce. And others don’t want a divorce for religious purposes.

Regardless of the reasoning, a legal separation allows the parties to continue with their lives with a court order that clearly defines the role of each spouse moving forward and what their responsibilities are. Most importantly, legal separations tend to be less costly than a divorce and give the parties time to separate households and live separately without financial hardships.

If you’re unsure if legal separation or divorce is best for you, contact us to set up a consultation. We can discuss the options, and you can make an informed decision about how best to move forward.

About Andalman & Flynn, P.C.: Founded in 1998 in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Andalman & Flynn has forged a distinguished reputation for legal excellence. The firm represents individuals seeking disability benefits throughout the country and practices family law throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The firm focuses on cases that impact the rights of everyone and is there for clients when responsive legal help is most critical. It has provided legal analysis on national and local television and radio, and its attorneys often testify before legislative bodies and are routinely invited to contribute to prominent legal publications. For more information about Andalman & Flynn, please explore our website or call us today.