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What Are the Disadvantages of a Legal Separation?

What Are the Disadvantages of a Legal Separation?

The decision to get a legal separation is serious, and the process has many advantages. However, it also has some disadvantages you should be aware of before making a final decision. Read on to learn more about how legal separation works and why it may not always be the best option for your situation:

What Is Legal Separation?

Legal separation is a legal process that allows two people who are married to live apart and function as if they were unmarried. This can be helpful when you want to end your marriage but are not ready to file for divorce. You still have to go to court to obtain a legal separation and abide by the court’s ruling, just as if you had obtained a divorce. However, legal separation often gets processed much more quickly.

It can also be beneficial in certain situations. This includes allowing couples to retain their health benefits and work towards resolving issues such as child custody or alimony without filing for a divorce. Additionally, unlike divorce, it does not change the status of the marriage. It can be reversed at any time, allowing couples to reconcile without going through the entire process again.

It is important to note that while the effects of legal separation are similar to those of divorce, they are not the same. Legal separation does not end your marriage. It allows you and your spouse to live apart while you work out the details of what will happen to your property, debts, and other issues after the separation period ends.

How Does a Trial Separation Work?

During a trial separation, spouses mutually agree to spend some time apart. A trial separation differs from a legal separation in that it does not involve the court or require legal paperwork.

Frequently, during a trial separation, one partner will move out entirely. However, if you cannot afford to purchase a second home, you and your spouse can continue to live in the same home, with one spouse occupying the spare bedroom. During the separation, you and your partner will agree on a period during which you will be apart, but you will remain legally married.

A trial separation is not intended to be permanent. It’s simply an opportunity for both partners to assess whether they can work through their issues without ending their marriage altogether.

Disadvantages of a Legal Separation

A legal separation is an option for couples trying to resolve their differences without formally ending the marriage. It is not a legal divorce, but it can provide many of the same protections as divorce, such as child custody and support. The main advantage of going for a legal separation is that it gives you time to think about what you want to do in the future. It also gives you breathing space before making big decisions like getting married or divorced.

While it can be helpful for some couples, it also has disadvantages. Below are some of the disadvantages of legal separation:

More Complicated Than Divorce

When considering a legal separation, it is important to understand that this decision is not just about your relationship with your spouse. A legal separation involves several intricate financial and legal issues that can have long-term effects on your life.

In addition to the emotional considerations involved in deciding whether to separate, there are also financial implications. In most cases, couples who separate will continue to share expenses such as food and rent. If they decide not to live together anymore, they must also decide how they will divide their property and assets.

A legal separation requires that you file the appropriate paperwork with the court and follow all of its rules. You will need an attorney’s help with these matters because they can be complicated and confusing.

You Can’t Remarry if You Are Legally Separated

Another disadvantage of a legal separation is that it doesn’t end your marriage. You can’t remarry if you are legally separated. Therefore, you and your spouse must remain married on paper, even if you live apart and consider yourselves divorced.

This might be an issue if either spouse wants to pursue a new relationship or take advantage of certain financial benefits only available to single individuals. This can cause frustration and confusion, as legally separated couples still face some of the same restrictions as married couples.

Legal Separation Before Divorce May Cost More

Legal separation is the same as divorce in all other respects except the name. You will have to pay your lawyer to ensure everything is done properly and that your spouse does not get any more benefits than they deserve. The fees for a legal separation can be relatively high depending on where you live and how much help you require from your lawyer.

If you change your mind and file for divorce later, you must start from square one and pay new legal fees. Therefore, before deciding on a legal separation, it is important to consider all the potential costs and consequences to ensure it is the right decision for you.

In addition, financial considerations should not be the only ones made. Time and the mental and emotional well-being of all parties should also be considered. Furthermore, remember that a legal separation is not always a long-term answer. Instead, it can be a stepping stone toward filing for a divorce.


If you’re considering a legal separation, it’s important to know the disadvantages. Not only do you lose some of the benefits of divorce, but financial and social implications could also affect you in the long run. Trapp Law LLC provides professional legal services that can assist you in determining the best course of action if you are looking for an alternative option that may be more suitable for your situation. They provide quality advice and counsel for various family law issues, including pre-divorce, legal separation, child support, child custody, and visitation arrangements.