Is legal separation same as divorce in North Carolina? Find here

June 14, 2021
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It is often hard to bring up topics like legal separation and divorce, but sadly, not all marriages are meant to last forever. If you and your spouse have decided to separate, knowing all options, and how these options impact your marital status, is important. No matter the circumstances, it is in your best interest that you talk one of Wilmington attorneys, to understand things better. In this post, we are sharing more on both legal separation and divorce. 

Differences at a glance

  1. Let’s start by saying that legal separation is similar to divorce, but not the same thing. In case of legal separation, the spouses live separately from one another, but are legally married. To be more precise, you are still married to your husband/wife. On the other hand, following a divorce, the marriage is dissolved.  If you are just opting for legal separation, you are still married, so you cannot remarry, which is not the case with divorce. 
  2. If reconciliation is anywhere on the cards, or the couple agrees to sort their issues with time, legal separation could be a better choice, because spouses can get back together easily. However, in case of a divorce, remarriage is the only option. 
  3. After legal separation, one can retain the social security benefits and other benefits, which is not the case with divorce. Following legal separation, a couple is still considered kin to one another, so they can have a say in decisions that impact mutual matters. However, after a divorce, all these rights are revoked. 
  4. With legal separation, the couple can retain whatever legal rights that had in the marriage, including rights related to property, in event spouse’s death. These rights are revoked immediately after marriage. Debts and liability will be shared between legally separated couples. 

Consult an attorney

Is legal separation the right option for you? Consider talking to a lawyer specializing in family laws and divorces in North Carolina. Their advice can come in handy in understanding various points of concern, including child custody, child support, visitation rights, and alimony. Both legal separation and divorce can take time, anywhere between 8 months and a year. Even if you are on amicable terms with your spouse, you need legal representation, not just to know your rights, but also to protect your interests. 

Where needed, your divorce attorney will negotiate and try to settle matters, so that a contested divorce can be avoided. 

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