When spouses are having marital troubles, a common decision is to choose divorce. However, before choosing to get divorced, you should speak with a family law attorney to decide on whether separation is a better option. There are several situations where separation or divorce might be a better option.
Unlike divorce, separation does not end the marriage. You are not allowed to remarry if you are simply separated. Therefore, separation would be a bad choice if your goal is to end your relationship with your husband and begin a relationship with someone else.
Division of Assets
If you do not want your assets to be divided, separation may be a better option. For example, if you have children and you aren't sure what to do with the house and do not want your children to move out, a separation might be a better choice. Also, if you wish to remain on the same health insurance plan, you can do this through separation.
However, you can still form a separation agreement that can determine how your assets will be divided, how child custody will be handled, whether you will still be living together or will be apart, and whether either party will pay child support.
Some religious institutions oppose divorce and you may wish to be separated without ending your marriage. You will still be able to live apart while effectively being married.
Medical and Financial Decisions
If you do not want your partner to be allowed to make medical and financial decisions for you, this may require that you get divorced. If you are still married you will be considered next-of-kin even if you are separated. However, if you trust the decisions your partner would make while you are incapacitated, you may prefer to be separated.
Social Security Benefits
There are several financial benefits such as Social Security that are associated with marriage. If you do not have any ill-will toward your spouse, you may find that it is better to be separated so your partner can continue to benefit.
Your Emotional State
For some, getting a divorce hurts more because it is more final. However, for others, separation hurts more because it will give you a sense that you're living in legal limbo. However, if you speak with a divorce lawyer, you can have a better sense of which option will be better for you.