What is the Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce?
Our Chandler Divorce Attorneys can you help you understand the difference
If you and your spouse intend to separate, it's important for you to decide whether to get a divorce or a legal separation.
Splitting with a married spouse is never easy. Often, you have built a life with your partner, have children, and built shared financial interests. If your relationship no longer works how it did and you are considering separating with your spouse it is important to consult a Chandler Divorce Attorney to best work through the process.
Separating a life built together is not black and white, there are several ways to end the marriage and a legal separation is often the best first step. If you and your spouse intend to separate, it's important for you to decide whether to get a divorce or a legal separation. Our law firm team of family law and estate planning experts can help you decide if legal separation is the right first step for you.
What is Legal Separation?
Legal separation is a court order that establishes the terms on which a married couple wish to split. It places a legal framework on how a couple wishes to end their relationship. Not all states have a formal system of legal separation, but Arizona does. Legal separation does not end the marriage. Rather, legal separation defines the legal terms in which a couple chooses to split assets and other important legal matters.
If you have children, a legal separation will define child custody arragements as well. With a legal separation, couples can establish sole custody or shared parenting arrangements, as well as define child support decisions.
Legal separation achieves, in the eyes of the law, everything that a divorce does regarding separating assets and debts, parenting and visitation agreements. A legal separation, however, does not end the marriage and if you are legally separated from your spouse you cannot marry another person.
Legal separation does not always end in divorce - legally separated couples can resolve their differences by simply notifying the court that they are no longer separated.
What is Divorce?
Divorce ends the marriage. In Arizona, divorce is legally termed a “Dissolution of Marriage.” Once divorced, you and your spouse are, in the eyes of the law, no longer related to each other. If you do resolve your differences and choose to remain together, you must get married again.
Consider marriage an agreement between two individuals to be legally connected. A divorce is the agreement to dissolve this legal relationship permanently.
When to Choose Legal Separation Over Divorce
Legal separation is generally the first step to divorce. It is a far more simple process that effectively achieves the same legal outcome as a divorce but can be achieved quickly and straightforwardly. It can also be reversed in case you decide that you and your partner want to stay together.
If you and your spouse decide to go different ways and you wish to define the terms of the arrangement quickly than a legal separation is the best option. A legal separation allows you and your spouse to maintain independent lives even while the resolution of the marriage is not final.
Arizona's Family Law Team for Legal Separation in Chandler, Arizona
We are your team for legal separation in Chandler, Arizona. Our Divorce Attorneys in Chandler If you and your spouse decide have decided to end your relationship, contact Citadel Law Firm PLLC to find the best approach for you. You can contact us by clicking here or by calling (480)565-8020.