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Legal Separation Vs. Divorce Know The Distinction
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The decision to end a marriage is never easy. Mental and emotional trauma aside, the legalities of the endeavor are taxing and confusing. Couples who have decided to separate ways have two options; to either file for divorce or get legal separation. Though fairly similar, the two are in fact two different legal processes. Here is a guide to understanding the distinctions between legal separation and divorce.
Legal separation is not the absolute end of marriage. A separated couple still has the choice of working things out and getting back together. A legal separation assigns rights and responsibilities to each spouse pertaining to child custody, debt, child visitation, and phoenix bankruptcy attorney. Both the spouses still have the same legal rights and responsibilities as when they were married.
A legal separation may only be decreed if both parties have agreed to the arrangement. Couples with children have to file for a different petition than those with children. Even though both parties are allowed to live as single people, they cannot marry anyone else; legal separation does not dissolve a marriage.
A divorce is the official termination of a marriage. In Arizona a divorce is legally known as the ‘Dissolution of Marriage’ and it doesn’t require the consent of both the spouses. A single spouse can file for divorce. Couples with children have to file for a ‘Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with Children’. The parties have to allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no room for any reconciliation and if the court finds that to be true, divorce is granted and the marriage dissolved.
When to Choose One over the Other
• Some people who want their marriage to be dissolved but are restrained because of faith based reasons resort to file for a legal separation instead
• Some people who still want to give their marriage a chance but cannot tolerate their spouse’s financial liability, addiction problems or lifestyle also choose legal separation in hopes that things might get better in the future
• Some people who would’ve gone for divorce otherwise, file for legal separation so that they can still remain eligible for their spouse’s group insurance
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