Why Do Some Choose to Legally Separate Instead of Divorce?

Choosing between legal separation and divorce is a very personal decision that must be made based on the circumstances of a couple’s situation. In some cases, legal separation might make more sense for a couple instead of divorce. Although many of the same issues are addressed during the separation process, the two options still have some very distinct differences that play a role in a couple’s decision-making process. One of the primary differences between the two is that neither party would be able to remarry if they were legally separated. Therefore, if you wish to find a new special someone in your life to whom you can eventually say, “I do,” separation would not allow you to fulfill that wish.

Here are some of the reasons why spouses might opt for legal separation instead of divorce:

  1. Some spouses simply are not ready to call it quits on their marriage. If you are experiencing some difficulties making the marriage work and think some time apart can do you both some good, legal separation might be just the solution. It would give you the space you need and, when you are ready, you can both revisit the relationship and figure out if it is worth saving.
  1. If you have religious beliefs that conflict with the idea of divorce, you might want to live separate lives and remain married only on paper. For couples whose families are also deeply religious and frown on divorce, legal separation provides a way to address everyone’s needs without actually dissolving the marriage.
  1. If a spouse is in the military, certain benefits are only available after 10 or more years of marriage. Some couples might choose to remain married to one another in order to become eligible for these benefits.
  1. If you and your spouse do not wish to give up the benefits of filing joint taxes, you might remain married to continue filing jointly while still living otherwise separate lives.
  1. Depending on the terms of a divorce settlement, a spouse might not be able to retain the benefits of the health care plan he or she received while married. In such cases, spouses might agree on legal separation to continue these benefits.

In terms of other key issues, such as child custody, property division, and child support, you and your spouse will resolve these much like others would when engaged in the divorce process. Discuss the pros and cons of these options with your spouse and your respective attorneys to figure out which is right for you.


If you are considering divorce or legal separation, now is the time to reach out to a skilled family law attorney to discuss the details of your case and determine which best addresses your needs. At Bez Law Firm, P.C., our legal separation attorneys are committed to providing the exceptional legal guidance you need to get through the process of legal separation or divorce.

Contact our law office today at (916) 512-8944 to schedule a low-cost 30-minute case review with one of our knowledgeable attorneys to learn more about how we can assist you.