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What's the Difference: Legal Separation vs. Divorce

By: Attorney Shira Truitt


Legal separation and divorce are two options that people may consider when they are no longer happy in their marriage. While both options involve separating from your spouse and ending the marriage, there are some key differences between the two.

Legal separation, also known as separation from bed and board, is a legal process in which a married couple separates and establishes their rights and responsibilities while living apart. During a legal separation, the couple is still considered to be married, but they are no longer required to live together. Legal separation allows couples to live apart and make decisions about issues such as child custody, child support, and property division, without fully ending the marriage.

Divorce, on the other hand, is the legal process of ending a marriage. In a divorce, the couple's marriage is legally dissolved, and they are no longer considered to be married. When a couple gets divorced, they must make decisions about issues such as child custody, child support, and property division, just as they would during a legal separation. However, in a divorce, the couple is no longer considered to be married, and they are free to marry someone else if they choose to do so.

One key difference between legal separation and divorce is that, in most states, couples who are legally separated are not allowed to remarry. This means that if a couple later decides that they want to get back together, they can simply resume living together and their marriage will be recognized as still being in effect. In contrast, couples who are divorced are not able to get back together without getting remarried.

Another key difference between legal separation and divorce is that, in many states, couples who are legally separated are not eligible for certain benefits that are available to divorced couples, such as the ability to collect social security benefits or to be covered by their spouse's health insurance.

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If you need legal advice or a lawyer in Illinois or Missouri, please contact The Truitt Law Firm, LLC for assistance. For more information on The Truitt Law Firm, LLC or to schedule an appointment, please go to www.thetruittlawfirm.com.




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