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What Is the Difference Between Separation and Divorce? Roswell, GA
Married Couple Not Talking to Each Other

What Is the Difference Between Separation and Divorce?

When couples reach the brink of their patience and can no longer maintain their marriage, they can end their relationship in one of two ways; they can either divorce or legally separate. Both divorce and legal separation are legally enforceable actions, however they have different purposes. Many couples opt to divorce when they have reached the determination that the relationship is irretrievable beyond repair.

Divorce dissolves, or ends, a marriage contract. Divorce is final and irreversible. Many couples choose to file for divorce because it frees them, once and for all, from a relationship they can no longer maintain. Divorce also allows assets to be divided, custody to be determined, and alimony and child support to be ordered. While divorce is the only way to end a marriage, you can also obtain some of the rights and protections of being divorced through legal separation. With legal separation, the rights and responsibilities of either spouse are defined in a legal document. Some couples choose to file for a legal separation, also called a complaint for separate maintenance, in lieu of a divorce for religious reasons or for other beliefs. They may also choose to stay legally married to preserve the rights to benefits only spouses enjoy.

The major difference between divorce and legal separation is that with divorce, the individuals are no longer married and are thus eligible to marry again. With legal separation, however, the individuals cannot marry again until they have finalized a divorce. Many couples choose to informally separate and maintain separate residencies. However, only with legal separation can you request alimony and child support, and legally divide your assets. Legal separation also allows you to take legal action if your spouse fails to provide you financial support or relinquish certain assets. Without legal separation a spouse maintaining a separate residence and in need of financial support may have little recourse.

If you need help deciding which option is right for you and your family, speak with an experienced Georgia family law attorney. While legal separation may provide you certain rights and benefits as a separated spouse, it does not terminate a marriage. If you do not want to put off all hopes of reconciliation, legal separation may be for you. However, you should still approach the legal separation process as you would a divorce, so it is important you consult with an attorney prior to filing.

Are you in the Roswell, GA area and have questions about separation or divorce? Thomas C. Rowsey, P.C. is experienced in family law and will ensure you choose the option that is right for you. Based in historic Roswell, GA, Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law serves those across the greater Atlanta metropolitan area including Roswell, Alpharetta, Marietta, Milton, Johns Creek, Cumming and Sandy Springs. Contact our office today at (770) 993-5317 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. Offering expert legal counsel in personal injury, criminal defense and family law, Thomas C. Rowsey Attorneys at Law are here to help.

Posted on behalf of Rowsey & Stelter, Attorneys at Law

295 W Crossville Road,
Building 100, Suite 110,
Roswell, GA 30075

Phone: (770) 993-5317

Monday - Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday Closed

Our Client Reviews

Rowsey & Stelter, Attorneys at Law

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Based on 7 reviews

Chris Smith

Tom did an excellent job setting up my LLC for my new business recently. I was in a situation where I needed the LLC formed quickly and Tom and his team were able to work on a very short deadline. Highly recommended!

GAAW Wright

Tom has been our attorney for many years. He has been with us through thick and thin. He has successfully handled all our queries and cases with patience and understanding. We highly recommend Tom!

Corey Rennolds

At all times for the duration of my case, Tom demonstrated professionalism, confidence, and honesty. At no point was I pressured to make any one decision over another, but Tom did his best to inform me about the consequences and benefits of all of my options. If he did not know some specific detail regarding my case, he made the effort to find out. Tom instantly exudes trustworthiness and was always in steady contact. I would recommend his services to anyone.

Justina Allen

I met Tom over 10 years ago after settling in Roswell with my family. I have learned over the years that Tom is a man of high integrity, genuine and extremely knowledgeable in his field. Along with being honest, he is a straight shooter and will let you know where you stand. He will provide you with personal attention you don’t get at bigger firms and will go the extra mile. As legal matters can be frightening to deal with, Tom will guide you through the process and get you the results you need.

Rowsey & Stelter, Attorneys at Law

Contact Us Today!

295 W Crossville Road,
Building 100, Suite 110,
Roswell, GA 30075

(770) 993-5317

Monday - Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday Closed