The two terms “legal separation” and “divorce” are used interchangeably by people. However, the two terms have different meanings and implementations. They differ from each other both in letter and spirit.
For an attorney the two terms are absolutely apart from each other though involving a marriage, the two partners and the fate of their relationship.
Some of the differences have been mentioned below
- Divorce is the ultimate stage of a marriage break up whereas legal separation leads to partial distancing of two people.
- Divorce puts an end to the relationship whereas in legal separation the strings are still connected somewhere both legally and emotionally.
- One is referred as “single or divorcee” after the getting divorced, whereas one is still considered to be married even after separating legally.
- The rights and responsibilities are totally washed off after getting divorced whereas legal separation allows you to enjoy the rights and meet the responsibilities of a spouse.
- In a divorce you are totally away from your partner, you need not inform him or her about your whereabouts. In legal separation you are living separately from your partner but both of you are aware of the basic details of each other.
- Divorce allows you to stop all possible communication with your ex-partner if you wish to do so, however, legal separation allows you to be in touch with your spouse.
- Divorce settles all the issues pertaining to property or any kind of wealth. Legal separation gives you the scope to think and discuss a settlement plan.
- Divorce decides the custody of child completely whether it is going to be a “sole custody” or a “joint one”. Legal separation allows both the parents to bring up the child congenially and they have a scope to discuss the point as well.
- The medical benefits or any other benefits which you enjoyed due to your spouse will come to a stop after getting divorced whereas you can continue to enjoy the same in legal separation.
When a relationship reaches a point where things start souring up between a married couple then “legal separation” gives them allowance in terms of time to understand and evaluate things alone without the partner. This is sometimes beneficial as when a partner is alone he realises his spouse’s importance in his life and the relationship rolls back on the track. When the issues are not settled even after living separately then the agreement of legal separation may also lead to “divorce agreement’.