On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Legal Separation on Friday, January 8, 2016.
Many people have heard of legal separation, but to those who do not have direct experience with this legal area, exactly how legal separation differs from divorce may not be clear. After all, in both instances, the law recognizes the separation of a married couple, but the way in which that separation is recognized is crucial. When a couple is legally separated, they are still married despite the separation. Divorce involves a separation in which couples are no longer married.
Ultimately this is the only real difference between the two. When couples enter into a separation agreement in order to become legally separated, the courts will mandate many different things, including child custody, asset division, spousal maintenance and more. Obviously, these are many of the same things that would be addressed in divorce proceedings, so the legally separated couple will be living a life almost identical to the one they would be leading if they were to divorce.
However, because they are not actually divorced, the legally separated couple could resume their marriage with relative ease, picking up as though they never separated at all. A divorced couple would not find it so easy to resume their married life, and they would have to go through the process of getting married all over again.
Because of this, legal separation is often used by couples that are contemplating divorce to find out if the divorced lifestyle would truly benefit their lives. Some couples find that living separately is difficult and that they can work through their problems. Other couples find that the separation is everything they hoped it would be, and they can easily divorce afterward. If you would like to enter into a separation agreement with your spouse in Missouri, consider meeting with an attorney to learn more about what you can expect from the process.