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Panama City Attorney
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Family law: when to consider separation over a divorce

If you are involved in an unhappy marriage, whatever the reason, the first thing you may consider is divorce. Many couples in Florida believe that the only options when a marriage is failing is to divorce. For couples who are unable to resolve their issues or differences, divorce may ultimately prove to be the best decision, but there may be other options to consider, including a legal separation.

In a legal separation, a couple is still legally married, although the courts may make decisions regarding the status of the marriage including but not limited to child custody, child visitation and even property division. There are several types of separations that could be considered.

A trial separation simply means the time up until legal proceedings are to take place. This time could be used for couples to hash out specifics of a divorce, but could also be done to reflect on the marriage and determine whether a divorce is really necessary. If a couple decides to live separately, it could ultimately affect property division in the event of a divorce, such as property that is acquired during the time of the separation. Some states require that spouses live separately for a certain amount of time before they can file for a no-fault divorce.

If you are involved in an unhappy marriage, it is important to step back from the situation and look at things from a broader perspective. This may be done through a legal separation, which will allow you to take time to determine whether you want to proceed with a divorce. To gain a full understanding of how legal separations work, you may find it helpful to speak with a law firm familiar with family law to see whether separation is a viable and wise option to consider. Weighing all your options before making a decision could prove to be valuable in saving you time, money and your happiness and well-being.

Source: FindLaw, "Legal Separation vs. Divorce," Accessed Aug. 21, 2017

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