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What is the difference between separation and divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2020 | Divorce |

When you feel that your marriage is beyond repair and that you no longer wish to remain in the relationship, you have a couple of choices for what you can do. North Carolina provides you with the option of a legal separation or a divorce. These are two very different choices that will have different impacts on your life, making it important to know how each works. 

When deciding between separation and divorce, it helps to know as much about each option as possible so that you can be sure whichever you choose is the option that is right for your family. Making the wrong choice could lead to wasting time and money without getting the result you desire. 

The differences and similarities 

The North Carolina Judicial Branch explains that separation is different from divorce in one very important aspect, which is that divorce legally ends your marriage whereas separation does not. You remain in a legal marriage during a separation. 

However, in most other ways, the two are very similar. In both situations, you can create an agreement to divide property, assign child support and create a parenting plan. You may also arrange spousal support in both cases. 

A legal separation does not require as much work as a divorce because you just need to live separately with the intention of it being permanent. If you want to agree to details about property and children, you can create an agreement. It must be in writing with notarized signatures from you both. In a divorce, though, you must file legal documents and go before the court to get an order that ends your marriage and creates a legal divorce decree that outlines all the necessary details. 

Depending on your situation, separation could work better than divorce for you, or vice versa. Either way, it is important to consider what you want and what is best for your family. You may also consider the financial implications of each option to help you decide.