Why Should I Bother Getting a Divorce When We are Already Separated?

Mar 24, 2016
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Separation is tough enough as it is – you or your spouse have moved out of your marital home and your marriage is, for all intents and purposes, over. So, why bother going through a divorce after a separation?

There are benefits to going through a divorce – read on to learn more.

What’s the Difference Between Divorce and Separation?

Before you make any decision about whether to go through the divorce process, it’s important to understand the distinctions between divorce and separation.

A separation refers to a situation in which two spouses no longer live together, and there is virtually no chance that the two will reconcile. However, the couple is still married. A divorce, conversely, means that the marriage has legally ended.

When you and your spouse decide to separate, you don’t have to sign any legal agreements (although you and your spouse have the choice to do so to make any decisions binding). Going through a divorce requires that both spouses sign a legal agreement stating the marriage has ended.

Why Some Couples Don’t Want to Divorce

For some couples, staying separated is easier. Every couple is different and has their own reasons for (sort of) staying together. 

Even in this day and age, with relatively high divorce rates, ending a marriage still has a stigma attached to it. There are also couples who believe a separation will be easier for children than undergoing a divorce. These parents feel that their kids will suffer if their marriage officially ends, and that it’s better if they live together (just not as spouses) so that the children have a sense of stability.

Another reason for staying together could be that the couple believes the benefits (especially financial) outweigh the disadvantages. Let’s say both spouses work full-time. Only one spouse has supplementary health insurance, though. For the spouse without health insurance, it makes sense to stay married because then he or she can continue receiving coverage that would be otherwise inaccessible.

If you want to speak to someone about your divorce vs separation options, click here to speak with a member of our staff.

What are the Benefits of Divorce after Separation?

You might not realize it, but there are good reasons to end your separation and undergo divorce proceedings. Although it might seem as though it’s simple to stay separated, you might be missing out on certain rights.

One right you have after divorce is to legally remarry. While you’re separated, you’re still legally married to your spouse. You and your spouse might agree to see other people, but if your new relationship becomes serious, there’s only so far you can take things with the new person in your life.

Secondly, your estranged husband or wife is still your legal beneficiary in the event that you pass away if you don’t get a divorce. If you’re satisfied with your spouse receiving financial benefits even if you’re separated, then there’s no reason to change the state of affairs. However, let’s say that you want to give those benefits to someone else, like maybe the new love of your life. Divorcing your spouse and changing the beneficiary on your life insurance and investments means that you can provide for the person you care for now, not the person you cared for before.

Get the Legal Advice You Need During a Divorce

Some people would rather remain separated because they fear the mess and hassle of a divorce. At Galbraith Family Law, we help clients achieve cost-effective and amicable divorces.

Galbraith Family Law is a certified Collaborative Practice, and has been named the top firm in Barrie multiple times. Our legal insights have also been featured in the Globe and Mail, as well as Lawyers Weekly.

Click here to contact us, or to schedule a consultation. Or you can call the local office listed at the top of the page.

About Brian Galbraith

Brian Galbraith is the owner and founder of Galbraith Family Law Professional Corporation. Brian is known in the legal community for his commitment to efficiently practicing family law using technology and streamlining the divorce processes.