Legal Separation or Divorce Infographic

When you and your partner decide to part ways, divorce might be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the next step you should take. The state law in Utah authorizes different options, also known as “legal separation”. Not every state allows this, but if you are in Utah, you might want to know the benefits of getting legal separation over divorce. Learn about the differences and similarities between the two so you and your partner can make an informed decision that works best for your family.

What is a Legal Separation?

In Utah, there are two different types of separation: temporary separation and separate maintenance. We group these two under one generic phrase, “legal separation.” Speak with a family law practitioner who can provide you with advice on which option is appropriate for your particular circumstance since they have slightly different rules, regulations, and applications.

During a legal separation, spouses continue to be legally wed even though they live apart and cannot get remarried. The wife is not permitted to go back to using her maiden name or previous last name. Legally, any children born during this separation are regarded as the offspring of both parents. An agreement known as a Decree of Legal Separation specifies the terms of child visitation, child and spousal support, and property partition, and money is kept separate. If the spouses later decide they want to try living together again, a formal separation is reversible and enables the family to come back together.

What is a Divorce?

A marriage is formally dissolved through divorce, and two people are free to remarry. Legal separation and divorce are comparable. A court of law reviews and approves the decision. A divorce decree, sometimes known as a separation agreement, is created and divides property, assets, and parenting time in the same way as a separation decree.

Why Consider Legal Separation Over Divorce?

Considerations like religion, cultural views, or personal convictions often prohibit or disapprove of divorce. That is why many couples opt for a legal separation rather than a divorce. By taking this route, both parties have time to consider concerns that can lead to reconciliation and the reunion of the family. It enables the practice and resolution of problems before initiating a divorce. The children could be more gently prepared for divorce by going through a separation. Other benefits of a legal separation over divorce include:

  • Insurance

A divorced spouse cannot continue to be covered by health and medical insurance plans. If one spouse needs the other’s insurance owing to a health condition or a job with limited or no coverage, some couples choose to remain legally married but live separately.

  • Military Benefits

Separated partners continue to have access to their military ID cards and insurance.

  • Social Security and Pension

A legally separated person is frequently still able to receive social security or pension payments from their spouse, which may help with basic expenses. You can negotiate the procedures to continue to be eligible for these benefits with the aid of an experienced family law attorney.

  • Taxes

You and your partner can continue to file taxes jointly if you are legally separated, which may be advantageous for both of you financially.

  • Citizenship

For a partner who requires more time to complete their citizenship process, legal separation can be the preferable choice.

You must be lawfully married and have lived in Utah for at least 90 days before submitting a petition for this status to be eligible for a legal separation in this state.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

Any couple can split for any amount of time at any moment during their marriage. If you and your spouse reside in two different homes, you are regarded as being separated. To avoid any mistakes in talks or documentation that could wind up costing you more time or money, it is advised that you choose a lawyer with knowledge of family law. Formal separation frequently entails following regionally specific rules and procedures. A lawyer can also assist you in negotiating, planning, and completing the necessary papers for custody disputes, child and spousal support, and property distribution.



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