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The Difference Between Filing for Legal Separation & Getting Divorced November 2, 2017

Chelsea, Manhattan
The Difference Between Filing for Legal Separation & Getting Divorced, Manhattan, New York

For many reasons, be they personal, religious, or financial, many couples who no longer wish to live together may not be prepared to divorce. In this situation, filing for legal separation may be an ideal solution, giving each party legally defined rights and responsibilities while preserving their marriage. While a legal separation does have a great deal in common with a divorce, there are important differences that should be considered before filing.

The Difference Between Divorce & Legal Separation

Getting a Divorce

filing for legal separationA divorce completely dissolves the legal bond between you and your spouse, eliminating all obligations but those spelled out in the final decree. While each spouse will be free to remarry after a divorce is finalized, you will no longer receive the privileges of marriage, such as automatic inheritance and eligibility to be listed on your partner’s health insurance policy. Ending a marriage requires resolving a host of issues as you disentangle your lives, from dividing property to establishing a child custody plan and negotiating support payments.

Filing for Legal Separation

Like a divorce, a legal separation results in an enforceable agreement detailing child and spousal support, entitlements to property, and child custody arrangements. However, the marriage itself is not terminated, so separated couples can still take advantage of a variety of benefits, including the ability to stay on a spouse’s health insurance and hospital visitation rights. While separated couples are not able to get remarried, the separation can be easily converted to a divorce or ended if you and your spouse do reconcile.


If you’re planning on filing for legal separation, the document preparation specialists at We The People of NY will ensure that your forms are filled out accurately and completely, eliminating the stress and common mistakes that could lead to unnecessary delays. For over a quarter of a century, they’ve helped New Yorkers prepare a broad range of legal documents and will even guide you through the process of filing. Visit their website now to learn more about the benefits of legal separation, and follow their Facebook for more tips and advice. If you’re ready to file, call (212) 633-2200 or just visit their storefront today.

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