The end of any romantic relationship is always rough, but it can be especially troubling when it happens with your spouse. While the end of most marriages ends in divorce, there is another option that you might be interested in. Some couples choose to be legally separated instead of divorced. There are a number of reasons why this might be the right choice for you and your family.
You Don't Want to Traumatize Your Children
If you have especially young children, you might not want to hit them with the "D" word just yet. Getting legally separated will allow you to tell your kids that you are still technically married to your spouse, which is 100 percent true. But the legal separation will still allow you to draw up the distribution of assets or child custody, just like a divorce would. You get all of the benefits of divorce but while still technically staying married, at least for now.
You Have Moral or Religious Beliefs
If you are deeply religious, you may be aware that your religion looks down upon divorce. If you don't want to get in trouble with your church or be viewed as someone who broke the sacred act of marriage, a legal separation can still give you some relief from your current situation without actually having to call it a divorce. You can live apart from your spouse and redistribute assets but if anyone at church asks, you still technically have an active marriage.
Your Spouse Wants to Keep Health Care
If one spouse's employer is providing a health care plan that covers both individuals in the relationship (and their children), then getting divorced might not be a good idea for your health. You'll have to read the fine print on your employer's insurance plan, but in some cases, as long as you are still officially married, you or your spouse can keep using each other's health insurance benefits. You can get legally separated but there will be no legal need to inform your employer of the change because the marriage is still active for now.
Contact an Attorney
Legal separation can provide a way for you to uncouple from your spouse without officially dissolving your marriage. This can be a delicate process so it's important to go through it with an expert at your side. Contact a legal separation attorney to see if this process is a good idea for you and your family.