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Long Term Separation vs. Divorce

Long Term Separation vs. Divorce

Separation or Divorce
Separation or Divorce

With any divorce, emotions are sure to be running high and it can be difficult to think clearly when things are changing so quickly.  More and more couples in Arizona have been going through periods that are called “Trial Separations” and “Legal Separations”.  The main difference between the two is that a trial separation does not involve any legal documentation or lawyers, while a legal separation requires both.  Both types of separation have similar effects and have good points as well as bad.  They both involve an agreement between two spouses to take some time living apart.
Positive Aspects:

  • Rather than rushing into a decision, a separation can help individuals think clearly.
  • Even if lawyers and legal documentation are involved, it is more affordable than divorce.

Any long-term separation is designed to help couples sort through their emotions privately and as mature individuals.  This is important because it will help many people avoid the mistake of rushing into a divorce and can help save many marriages and families.  Although it is not necessary, it is often a suggested step.  Should a couple choose not to get a divorce, they will end up saving money that would have been spent on a costly divorce and the situation will be resolved easily.  A separation can also help to give spouses the time to think things through and imagine what life would be like without their partner.
There are many different emotions that couples experience while going through a divorce and a separation allows them to start feeling these emotions, to help identify what the real problem is.  Trial and legal separations can be very effective for couples who are confused or unsure about a decision, and the results are often far more desirable.
Negative Aspects:

  • Financial obligations will still remain the same, so bills must still be paid and both partners share the responsibility with large purchases such property or a vehicle.
  • Things such as lottery winnings, debt, vehicles and homes, among other property will still be considered marital property and will be split evenly in the case of divorce.

These negative points are more critical if the couple decides to go through with the divorce after all.  Throughout the separation period, each spouse will still have to fulfill all of their regular financial responsibilities such as paying bills.  Any debts that they carry will be the responsibility of both spouses, just as it would be in a normal marriage.  If any debts are incurred or large amounts of money are earned, they will be split equally in the case of a divorce.  This can be a huge downside for a spouse if the other buys a car and increases debt, or if they win a large sum of money and then have to split it equally.  These are small drawbacks for couples who decide against a divorce, but will still make a huge impact on the result.  It is important to keep these things in mind, and more often than not, a long term separation is a good choice for all couples considering divorce.

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