5 Situations When Separation is Better Than Divorce

April 27, 2021

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Disputes within a marriage can happen due to several reasons, like a misunderstanding or improper behavior from one or both sides. In those scenarios, the couple may look for a judicial separation that will allow them to be married to each other – but they can live separately for a specific period. 

Most of us are well accustomed to the word “Divorce,” especially in the USA and Canada, where 1 out of every 500 adults are divorced – and the rate is 1 out of every 400 adults in Canada.

The word “Separation” or, more profoundly – “Legal separation” can become a bit confusing. 

Well, from a psychological point of view, there is not much difference between legal separation divorce as both will create a gap between the couple. Certain procedures of a legal separation are somewhat similar to a divorce, like financial settlement, child custody (if you have any), spousal support, etc.

Besides, according to some state laws, legal separation for 6-12 months is mandatory before getting a divorce.

Still, to make the decision, you need to weigh all the pros and cons of legal separation.

Legal separation or divorce

The primary difference between legal separation vs. divorce is that if you are divorced, the marital bond is officially ended. After a divorce, you will become a single person – free to remarry. While in a judicial separation, you may choose to live separately, but you’re still married on paper. 

Still, the question remains the same – divorce versus legal separation – which one to choose!

Legal separation is a lawful interaction that alludes to a lawful separation of marriage before the divorce. In basic terms, legal separation alludes to the circumstance when the couple, by one another’s consent, gets separated for a particular timeframe. Legal separation is the circumstance where you will get the opportunity to be sure about the divorce. 

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If you are going through a separation period or planning to file the petition, some of the best divorce recovery books available in the market will help you make the right decision. You don’t need to live the rest of your life in misery but move forward with your inner soul intact. 

So, when a legal separation is better than divorce – let’s find out in the following segment.

Legal separation is better than divorce: When & Why?

If you’re not sure about getting a divorce – but you detest your spouse and can’t live with him/her any longer – legal separation can be the ideal approach.

No more emotional attachment

When we get married to someone, we believe in them and get emotionally attached to them. But, sadly or for some good reasons, those attachments may not last long. Sometimes, couples find it too hard to understand each other’s concerns or think that they are making all the compromises (maybe they are). 

Though this is quite common, having a heated argument once in a while and losing the emotional attachments are two very different things. In such scenarios, the couple may choose to separate their assets and legal identities and file for a judicial separation.

You don’t want to make it public

Another reason for getting separated is that you are not ready to make your private life public –well, not quite yet. This happens mostly if you are a celebrity or own a joint venture and believe that the news of getting a divorce would make too much noise and will dwindle your private life. 

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In the contest between separation vs. divorce – legal separation will allow you to keep your private life private. 

Intricate financial issues

There can be several reasons when the couple wishes to get divorced as soon as possible – but from a financial perspective – it would be a sham decision. In some cases, the inheritance of the asset might depend on the condition that if he/she gets divorced, they will lose all their claims from the finance.

So, if the couple chooses legal separation over divorce, they will still be married, and the burden of spousal support will be less.

Divorce is not permitted in your faith

Some likes to take their religious belief seriously and wishes to live by those values for the rest of their lives. So, when you have taken a vow to be in the matrimonial bond till death – but the emotional or physical attachment has ended – getting legally separated would be the best option. Of course, you will be officially married and cannot re-marry – but at least you can live by your terms

A second chance

As mentioned above, according to some state laws, you cannot get a straight divorce but apply for a legal separation first. So, it’s a second chance.

Now there can be several reasons for getting a divorce – but still, there is an entity inside you telling you not to end it right away. You might have lost the emotional attachment from the person – but if you give it some time by staying away for a while– you may find the long-lost love again – who knows, right?

Maybe you have misunderstood him, or maybe you didn’t give her enough time or vice versa.

So, this is the time to stay away from your spouse for a while and think about where it went wrong. 

Don’t find their mistakes and try to prove yourself right – but try to evaluate things from a neutral perspective.

See also  Benefits of Negotiating a Separation Agreement

Divorce is the end – but legal separation will keep the window open to see if there’s any chance of reconciliation. 

How can the Long-term separation affect your financial state? – Pros and cons

According to a recent study, as much as 15% stay legally separated for more than 10 years and not file for a divorce – is that a good option!

The Pros

Well, remaining legally separated means that you’re still married so that the couple can enjoy the benefits of health coverage just like any other married couple. Besides, if you choose to stay separated, you can still get the income tax advantages with possible tax deductions in certain areas. 

If the couple owns a shared property, selling it right now would be a mistake as the market price is too low – the couple may choose to reside on the property yet live separately.

The cons

The economic reasons that keep a couple legally separated –not divorced can become a burden sometimes. For example, if the couple shares a debt, they will be required to pay half even if they live separately. In case one fails to pay – that will affect both party’s credit scores. 


On the off chance that your marriage is excessively confounded for a divorce yet not straightforward enough to remain together, a legal separation might be an approach to place a bookmark in your relationship and carry on with independent lives however long you need to do as such. 
Legal separation vs. divorce – There cannot be a straight answer to it as both are useful in dealing with a failed marriage and affect our personal life significantly. There’s no need to take a quick decision that may lead to more significant failures, so take your time, talk to a therapist, and with your close friends to choose the better alternative.