Why choose separation instead of divorce?

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Different reasons exist for New Jersey couples choosing to separate rather than formally divorce. In some cases, couples who are unsure about remaining married separate for a while to give spouses time away to consider their options rather than rushing to get divorced. Another reason for separation concerns couples whose religion prohibits divorce.

Couples with young children sometimes separate to make it easier for the children. Retaining retirement and health benefits is the reason for some who choose not to file for divorce. Other reasons exist, and some couples prefer to separate informally without a court order to keep it simple and avoid legal expenses.

However, that might not be the best way to do it. With a court order, there will be an established date of the start of the separation. That will prevent either spouse using funds from joint bank or credit card accounts. Furthermore, a court order will protect other assets, such as vehicles or property. Also, from the start date of the separation, each spouse will be legally responsible for their respective debts.

Dealing with child-related matters will be a part of the court order, and in many cases, the court bases the final divorce order on the terms of the separation. Anyone in New Jersey who is considering a separation might benefit from consulting with an experienced divorce attorney. Legal counsel can assist with addressing financial obligations and matters related to child support, parenting time and custody, although the court will have the final say about child-related issues.

FindLaw Network