How Is Legal Separation Different from Divorce in TN?

If your marriage does not work out, divorce may not be a solution suitable for your specific situation. You can opt for a legal separation in Tennessee as a temporary or long-term option. This allows you to live independently and ensures that your assets and finances are in order, while remaining legally married.

A legal separation shares filing requirements, legal processes, and matters it can address, with a divorce, but it has unique qualities and benefits. No matter which solution you and your spouse are considering, hiring an experienced family law attorney can play a significant role in protecting your rights and properties, as well as those of any child you may have.

Legal Separation Does Not Terminate Your Marriage

The key difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that a legal separation does not legally end your marriage. While you may include a broad range of terms in your legal separation agreement and live separately for the rest of your lives, you remain legally married.

Couples may choose a legal separation over a divorce for religious reasons or if they do not want to put their child through a divorce. They may also hope to reconcile at a future point.

If you are legally separated and are interested in remarrying, you have to obtain a divorce first to terminate your current marriage, even if you have been legally separated for years.

Benefits of a Legal Separation

In addition to respecting religious requirements of your faith or preserving your family if you have children, a legal separation offers a variety of benefits that cannot happen if you file for divorce.

A legal separation can maintain:

  • Health coverage
  • Insurance policies
  • Military pensions
  • Tax benefits

Your legal separation agreement can include provisions for child custody, child support, alimony, debt payment, and property division.

Why You Need a Lawyer for a Legal Separation

Whether you want to request a legal separation or are still debating whether you should choose a divorce, working with a reputable lawyer can help protect your rights and property, and make sure that you fill out all necessary paperwork accurately.

A legal separation agreement is a legally binding contract that both spouses must sign after reaching an agreement over all matters concerning their separation. These documents can be complex, and your attorney is aware of any change in policies and regulations that may affect your contract.

If your spouse contests some of your requests, your lawyer can help throughout the negotiations and even represent you before a court if necessary.

Contact Conner & Roberts, PLLC, today at (423) 299-4489 to schedule an appointment at our Chattanooga office!

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