Should We Get Divorced or Legally Separate? By Robert L. Froerer on July 31, 2023

couple sitting apart from one anotherThe end of a marriage is a difficult time when emotions run deep and legal matters need to be handled. A divorce lawyer can help with the process of dividing property and other issues that must be decided when a marriage comes to an end. 

When facing the end of a marriage, couples may wonder “should we get divorced or legally separate?” The OgdenUT, and Layton, UT, based attorneys of Froerer & Miles are available to discuss both options and which may be right for your needs. 

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the differences between divorce and legal separation and important considerations when deciding which path is right for you. 

How Are Divorce and Legal Separation Different?

Both a divorce and legal separation, called separate maintenance in Utah, are used to divide property and decide custody of children when married couples decide they no longer want to share a marital relationship. 

However, the key difference between divorce and legal separation is that a divorce legally ends a marriage but a legal separation does not. Couples who choose a legal separation remain married. 

Whether a couple chooses to divorce or legally separate is a personal choice dependent on the needs and goals of each couple. 

Important Considerations for Divorce

Couples who know their marriage is irrevocably damaged may be better served by divorce than a legal separation as divorce completely ends a marriage. Through a divorce, property is divided, child support and custody is determined, and other legal matters are decided. 

Divorce also means that some spouses may lose their health benefits if they’re on their former spouse’s insurance plan. This can cause great financial burden, especially to those with extensive medical needs. Another thing to consider is changes to tax benefits. Divorce can change state and federal tax obligations and should be understood when considering divorce.  

Important Considerations for Legal Separation

There are many reasons to consider a legal separation. Some couples may choose legal separation if they aren’t sure they want to divorce but know they need time apart to work on their relationship. 

Other couples may choose legal separation to maintain medical insurance benefits or tax benefits while others may decide to legally separate but stay married for religious reasons. 

It’s important to note that couples who legally separate will need to divorce their spouse in the event they want to remarry, which can make going the route of legal separation more expensive than undergoing a divorce from the start. 

A Divorce Lawyer Can Help with Divorce or Legal Separation

Making the decision to divorce or legally separate is a personal decision that ultimately can only be made by the couple wanting to end their marriage. 

However, an attorney can provide important information about the financial impact of both options as well as facilitate the division of property and help reach a fair agreement for decisions related to child support, child custody, and spousal support whether divorcing or legally separating. 

Contact Froerer & Miles

For answers to your questions about divorce and legal separation schedule a consultation with the Ogden based law firm of Froerer & Miles.

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Froerer & Miles

The attorneys at Froerer & Miles have successfully represented clients in a wide range of practice areas since 1959. Our team of attorneys can protect your best interests in matters related to:

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