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Separation vs. Divorce

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mixedintherut posted 9/12/2013 12:54 PM

What caused you to choose one over the other?

I haven't yet met with a lawyer but will be meeting with several over the course of the next few weeks.

MovingUpward posted 9/12/2013 14:28 PM

I was ready to D.

If you are looking in Kentucky then it seems that Separation is for the following purposes

Legal separation may be desirable under any of the following circumstances:

- The parties are willing to see if a time apart will cure a temporary marital problem or will prove that divorce is necessary.

- The parties feel the need to separate but one or both have religious, moral, or social misgiving about obtaining a divorce.

- The parties want to separate in some fashion but would like to retain certain benefits such as health insurance, Social Security, or the ability to file joint tax returns. This is not automatic following legal separation but requires consideration of the policy terms, agreements in the Separation Agreement filed with the court, and other factors.

There really doesn't sound like there is much difference between S and D.

[This message edited by MovingUpward at 2:29 PM, September 12th (Thursday)]

Phoenix1 posted 9/12/2013 15:07 PM

I actually wanted to legally separate (not all states recognize it though so it is not an option for everyone) and not D right away for financial and insurance purposes. The POS wanted to go straight to D. So the decision was made...

Runningaway posted 9/12/2013 18:02 PM

In my case I didn't agree with how he was choosing to live his life. In a nutshell.

Why would you choose separation instead of divorce? Do you think there is a chance for reconciliation? I hope you get helpful info when you meet with the lawyers. I remember meeting with lawyers. Ugh. I cried a lot.

Gemini71 posted 9/12/2013 23:00 PM

I have struggled with this very question. When you meet with a lawyer, find out what the legal differences are in your state. In my state, the only difference was insurance benefits and tax returns. There may be legal differences in your state that will make it more of a practical decision than an emotional one.

My indecision had more to do with the emotional impact of the words 'separation' vs 'divorce'. Eventually my heart caught up with my head, and I realized that R is just not possible for us. If it boils down to an emotional decision, you are the only one who really knows what is right for you.

Also find out from the lawyer what would be required to switch from one option to the other. You don't have to rush a decision, and you don't have to be stuck with one if you change your mind. Beware of lawyers that try to pressure you to Divorce if you're not ready. Take your time.

[This message edited by Gemini71 at 11:02 PM, September 12th (Thursday)]

endlessabsurdity posted 9/13/2013 03:43 AM

I did not feel that I could stay married to someone continuing an active affair right in front of me. It felt like it would be abusive to me and a bad example to my children. I understand others may see it differently and there may be very practical reasons to do a legal separation first. In my case, I simply could not do it. We are physically separating until the divorce is complete.

[This message edited by endlessabsurdity at 3:46 AM, September 13th (Friday)]

velveteer posted 9/13/2013 04:15 AM

I am legally S and will move it to D in the next few months.

I did this on the advice of my lawyer (I am in the UK btw).

Here the S agreement deals with split of marital assets, financial settlement (child support and spousal support if applicable) and arrangements for any children. It is legally binding on the financial matters but not on the issues relating to the kids.

So why did I do this? First, WXW was all over the map and I wanted a clear financial settlement so that I could keep the house. It took ages but we more or less negotiated it between us and I got a L to write it up. Going straight to D would, I believe, have escalated her emotional response and as a result made the job of getting a good settlement all the harder. Legal S seemed to her less confrontational and final so she could cope with it all better. That was my judgement relating to my own situation. I think I was right. I should add that I did this not to save WXW any grief, but to save ME grief and allow me to get the settlement I wanted and needed. I did.

Secondly, the kids. The LAST thing I wanted was a fight over access to the kids and again moving to D could have really escalated this. It took me a long time to negotiate the access I have to the kids and its all documented in the agreement. Now this is not legally binding, but the advice of my L was get it in the agreement and operate the childcare on that basis - when it comes to D, judges here and very reluctant to change the status quo. At the point when this all blew up the status quo was that WXW did most of the childcare. I have created a new status quo, documented it, have been operating it for two years and can demonstrate that it works. This would now significantly weaken any case WXW might want to bring for increased access to the kids.

So - it has worked for me. Now I want to finalise things via D and WXW has said that she has no issues with our arrangements as they stand, so I am hoping that it will go through smoothly. The legal S agreement is a HUGE step towards the final D.

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