Legal Separation & Divorce: What is the Difference?

Ending a marriage is not an easy decision. And while you can legally end a marriage through a divorce, legal separation refers to a court order mandating the couple’s rights and duties while still married but living separately. The couple’s finances are legally separated in both arrangements, and children’s custody rights are well defined, among other separation dynamics.Here are some insights about legal separation and divorce, brought to you by The Law Office in Diron Rutty in New York.

What is Legal Separation

A legal separation is more like temporarily holding the marriage while the couples move to separate homes. Still, it’s a more formal arrangement than just leading separate lives because it must be approved by a court of law. In addition, this arrangement divides property, sets a strategy for raising children, and ends the spouses’ financial connection.

How Divorce Differs

In a divorce, the marriage ends too. Still, other than this significant difference, it’s quite similar to legal separation. The court must approve this decision and a strategy is created to divide property and plan for the children’s custody. Given that these two are quite similar, the cost for a separation versus a divorce is similar and takes roughly the same amount of time.

Why Consider Legal Separation

If you are uncertain about ending your marriage, legal separation offers the space needed to figure out things while giving financial protection. In addition, couples deterred from going through a divorce for religious reasons can opt for separation.

Separation means one spouse can still use the other spouse’s job to benefit from health insurance. With a divorce, however, that is not possible. Also, in a separation, spouses can still file joint taxes in order to gain certain tax benefits.

Why Choose Divorce?

According to Diron Rutty, family lawyer in New York, if you do not see any financial benefit from legal separation and you are sure that you want to end the marriage, it would be best to go for a divorce. Additionally, a divorce is essential if you are considering a remarriage because you cannot remarry while a previous marriage still holds.

Finally, if you do not want any connection with your spouse including making financial and medical decisions together, you may want to opt for a divorce.

There are some key differences between legal separation and divorce. While we’ve discussed some of them here, The Law Office in Diron Rutty will be happy to answer any questions you may have and advise you of the best option for your circumstances. Visit or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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