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Divorce and legal separation have different purposes

For some couples who are in a marriage that is discordant, they may be wondering whether to get separated or divorced. In some cases, divorce is the only option. However, others may want to try legal separation in Texas first.

With divorce, two spouses are not married any longer. Meanwhile, legal separations are court orders that mandate the duties and rights of couples while they are still joined together in marriage but are living apart from each other. Although legal separations are not as common as divorce, they may be beneficial in situations where the spouses are interested in trying to sort through their personal and financial problems.

In a legal separation proceeding, the family law court makes decisions about the same types of matters addressed in a divorce proceeding. For instance, the court will make determinations related to spousal or child support. An attorney can file separation maintenance papers in court, and what is decided during the legal separation proceeding will impact what will happen during a possible future divorce proceeding. Other topics that are addressed during a legal separation include asset distribution, child custody and child visitation.

Deciding whether to get separated or go through divorce can be confusing from both an emotional and a legal standpoint. However, an attorney in Texas can help with figuring out the differences between the two and the consequences associated with each. With the attorney's help, pursuing the most personally favorable long-term outcome considering the circumstances surrounding the marital discord is possible.

Source: findlaw.com, "Legal Separation vs. Divorce", Accessed on June 7, 2017

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