The Law Office of Jeffrey A. April, Esquire
contact us for quick responses to your legal questions
Toll-free: (800) 724 7232 Local: (609) 736 2203
E-Mail Us Today Click Here

How is a legal separation different from a divorce?

New Jersey couples who want to end their marriages could choose to divorce, or, in some cases, they could first try a trial separation. In some cases, due to religious beliefs or tax considerations, a permanent separation in lieu of divorce may be the better choice. In both cases, the major issues will largely be the same.

Those who are seeking a divorce will typically need to make decisions regarding such matters as spousal maintenance, child custody and support, child visitation and property division. In a legal separation, these issues must also be resolved; the key difference is that the couple will still technically be married. In addition, decisions about financial support like alimony and child support can have a bearing on the outcome of support awards in official divorce proceedings down the road.

Legal separations are rare but useful when both spouses have a need to work through significant financial or personal issues negatively impacting the marriage without committing to a divorce. In a trial separation, both spouses live apart for a period while deciding whether or not to remain married. In some jurisdictions, a pre-divorce period of separation can affect how assets will be classified in during a divorce or even be required for a no-fault divorce to be recognized as such.

Regardless of what form the breakdown of a marriage takes, whether divorce or separation, emotions may run high when it comes to contentious issues like asset division and child custody. Through skilled negotiation, however, separating spouses may be able to reach an agreement regarding these issues even when it initially appears unlikely. A family law attorney representing one party may be able to negotiate either a partial or a full agreement with the other party or litigate on the client's behalf at the final divorce hearing. In the event that a client wishes to seek a separation instead of a divorce, the attorney could draft the petition and investigate the issues that could potentially affect the client's financial well-being in the future.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

200 South Shore Road
Marmora, NJ 08223

Toll Free: 800-724-7232
Phone: 609-736-2203
Fax: 609-390-9363
Marmora Law Office Map