Clients often ask "What's the difference between a legal separation and a divorce?"
In many ways, a separation agreement and divorce agreement are identical - both documents address custody, support and division of assets.Both documents, once agreed upon and signed, are final, binding and enforceable in Court.
Some key differences between a separation and a divorce agreement are:
•A divorce agreement expedites the termination of the marriage (usually a few months after signing). This agreement also terminates the medical benefits for the ex-spouse.
•In a separation agreement, parties wait one or more years before terminating the marriage.
This is ideal for those who want a "trial separation" like
It is important to get advice from an experienced matrimonial attorney, to ascertain which type of agreement is best for your needs.
In many cases, agreements are negotiated and signed out of Court, without any litigation. This approach keeps legal costs and acrimony down, although it may not work for every case.