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legal separation vs. divorce

Legal Separation vs. Divorce—Which is Right for You?

Divorce is a complex event. A participant should  expect to face many challenges. Likewise there are many options available to people to consider, specifically with the directions that they may chose. By nature separation is a natural component of the Tampa divorce process. Though there is no such thing as legal separation in Florida, again, the separation process will be part of your Tampa divorce case at some time. What many people face is the question of whether to separate or whether to divorce. Just as people who are facing the question of whether to continue in a relationship out of marriage or whether to get married, there are pros and cons of staying married and getting a Tampa divorce.

To Marry Again

This one is quite simple. You can’t get married again unless your are first divorced. If you are in a committed relationship, there are plenty of reasons why a person would choose to remarry. Some of these reasons are as follows:

  • tax purposes
  • the receipt of government benefits
  • the receipt of employment benefits
  • the ability to receive medical benefits
  • the ability to be part of death related decisions
  • the ability to adopt as a step parent
  • and the ability to receive consumer benefits like family rates

By remaining married to someone you are separated from you miss the opportunity to remarry and thus include your new significant other in the above list of marriage related benefits.

To be Free of the Other’s Debt

By receiving a Tampa divorce, you gain the ability of no longer being attached to your former spouses debt and liabilities. As long as you remain married you remain potentially liable for the errors and omissions of your spouse as well as their accumulation of debt. The finality of divorce cuts legal ties with your spouse.

Estate Planning

Again, the ability to receive finality through a Tampa divorce allows a person to ensure that their former spouse is no longer entitled to inheritance rights that are available to married couples. Other estate planning benefits of a divorce is the assurance that ones former spouse is removed from the ability to make medical and end of life decisions which can be critical when a person is in a critical state. This could include little things like deciding who is allowed to visit a person is in the hospital. A spouse would actually have the ability to prevent other family members including parents ad siblings from visiting.

Child Considerations

Children actually benefit from divorce.  Living separated provides an environment where children remain in an uncertain existence. They have difficulty relating to the existing family dynamic because it doesn’t make sense. Children benefit from structure and consistency. Small considerations like what to call new significant others and the predictability of an established parenting plan are reasons why parties should avoid remaining separated without divorcing.

Child Support is another reason for divorce. Put simply, without a divorce, there is no ability to enforce any payment of child support. A divorce decree includes the ability to create a support obligation that is enforced. Though a party can receive support through a title IV D or child support/Department of Revenue case, a divorce case has the ability to create a parenting plan and a resulting support order.

Real Estate

Through marriage, a person gains certain homestead rights. By remaining married, one misses the opportunity to gain homestead rights that they may qualify for with property of a new relationship. Property designated as homestead is protected from creditors.

The above benefits of gaining a divorce are only a few of the practical benefits. There are many other benefits including peace of mind, emotional wellbeing and stability for the children. If you have found enough reason to remain separate, than it is time to consider a Tampa divorce.

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