If your marriage is on the rocks and seems headed toward dissolution, it’s vital to understand divorce vs. separation. There are advantages as well as repercussions to either choice. Here are four common reasons couples separate first instead of going straight to divorce.
#1: Time for Potential Reconciliation
There are many reasons that marriages can feel strained, where one feels the only possible relief can come from divorce. One of the benefits of separation before divorce is that it allows time for potential healing and possible reconciliation. Sometimes time apart is just what’s needed for a couple to reconnect.
#2: Financial Benefits
Many married couples have intermingled finances from their life together. Divorce will create the need to sever those financial ties; a process that can be contentious and tedious. A separation allows time to work through some of the details of your finances and budget before deciding if divorce is inevitable.
#3: Maintaining Benefits
Many times, benefits such as health, dental, and life insurance can’t continue for a family after a divorce, or become unaffordable. To maintain those benefits while also navigating the end of a marriage, it’s often beneficial to separate while resolving those financial issues.
#4: Preparation for Divorce
Though there are many reasons for a separation before a divorce, one of the most common is that it allows for preparation time. A divorce can be complex, emotional, and overwhelming. Separation gives time and breathing room to plan how things can and should proceed. It creates a starting point for the spouse and the children to learn the new normal without the pressure of rushing to divide assets, or create final orders of monumental importance.
Though South Carolina does not recognize “legal separation”, details regarding support, child custody and visitation, preservation of assets, and restraining orders can be put in place by the courts until you decide to move forward with a divorce. An order of Separate Support and Maintenance will not end the marriage, but it can make life easier for everyone involved, or at least detail your rights and obligations as you contemplate a divorce.
For the legal help you need when navigating divorce vs. separation, contact McCutchen McLean, LLC.