Married couples considering divorce may opt to legally separate for a period of time, providing them time for reflection and possible reconciliation before initiating a divorce.
Legal separation is similar to divorce in that it provides certain legal protections and rights such as:
- separating spouses financially; ending responsibility for any debt accrued by the other spouse after the date of legal separation
- orders for child custody and child support
- orders for spousal support
- division of property, such as who will reside in the family home during the period of legal separation
- keeping health insurance in force during periods of legal separation
- maintaining advantage of filing taxes jointly
Difference between physical and legal separation
Legal separation and physical separation are often confused, but they are distinctly different. Simply moving out of the family home or living in different areas of the house does not convey the same protection that legal separation offers. While some couples may start out physically separating before obtaining a legal separation or a divorce, only a legal separation or divorce offers certain protections.
Reconciliation or Divorce After Legal Separation
After a period of separation a couple may reconcile, reversing the separation judgement and returning to a joint status couple. If the couple decides to divorce after being granted a legal separation, they may convert the legal separation into a divorce, saving time and money.
Contact Our Waukesha Family Law Attorneys for Help
The decision to divorce is not easy – legal separation provides married couples the time and space to consider if it is the right decision, while providing legal rights and protections. If you have questions regarding the benefits of legal separation vs physical separation in Wisconsin contact Probst Law Offices S.C. for help today.