Is It Better To Separate or Divorce?

Deciding to go your separate ways from your spouse is usually painful, regardless of the reason. Not only is there the emotional pain of losing a partner you once felt committed to, but there’s also the question of how to manage different practical aspects of the breakup, such as child custody and support, asset distribution, and more.

Because divorce is complicated and often messy, some couples decide to separate before getting a divorce and live apart for a while, remaining married in the meantime. Others decide to file for a divorce right away. Is one option better than the other? In some cases, yes.

What’s the Difference Between Divorce and Separation?

The main difference between divorce and separation is the legal dissolution of the marriage and all the benefits that go along with being married. People who are separated generally live apart and do not consider themselves to be in a partnership, but they still have all the legal benefits of being married. They cannot marry again, however, until they go through the divorce process.

Some states recognize separation and divorce as two different legal processes. Others only recognize divorce, although couples can still go through an informal separation process and see if getting a divorce later makes sense.

Which is Better: Separation or Divorce?

There are pros and cons to both separation and divorce. Separation can be used as a “trial run” to see if reconciliation might be possible. If the couple finds that they don’t want to get back together, then they can pursue a divorce later. They can also use the time when they are separated to amicably discuss the terms of an upcoming divorce.

Separation also allows both spouses to maintain the legal benefits of marriage and avoid splitting up property or creating a child custody plan if needed. The divorce process can be complicated and expensive, while separation is much simpler.

Divorce is often complex and emotionally painful, but it is necessary if either spouse wants to get remarried. It can also provide a sense of closure and establish important boundaries when it comes to child custody. In many cases, separation is simply a temporary delay before the divorce proceedings begin.

Should You Separate or Get Divorced?

Only you and your spouse can make the decision to separate or divorce. If you are on good terms and you want to buy yourself some time before beginning the divorce process, then a separation might be a good first step. If you are ready to make a clean break from your spouse, heading straight into a divorce might be a better option.

If you need advice on your case, then it might be time to seek help from an experienced divorce attorney. Call our San Antonio, TX, law firm at (210) 953-7486 today to get started.