Divorce Versus Legal Separation

Last Updated : April 2, 2024

The American Psychological Association reports that between 40% and 50% of marriages end in divorce—a well-known statistic. In some cases, people may not know there are other options. One of these possible alternatives is a legal separation. A legal separation allows two married individuals to live apart and gives them the option to set parameters for the separation. They can still negotiate many of the aspects associated with divorces, such as spousal maintenance, child custody and support, and division of property, but with a legal separation, in the eyes of the law, the marriage still exists.
If you and your spouse are considering your separation options, talk to an attorney about the pros and cons of a legal separation as opposed to a divorce. At the Arenson Law Group, PC, we have experience dealing with a variety of divorce cases. It is often devastating when a relationship ends, but being prepared and equipped with a qualified legal team can make the process easier. Our attorneys want to do all they can to help you get through the legal processes surrounding separation, no matter which path you choose, so that you come out with all of the rights you deserve.

Reasons for Getting a Legal Separation over a Divorce

Some states require that a couple becomes legally separated for a specified period before an actual divorce. Contrastingly, some states do not recognize legal separation as an option at all. Iowa does neither. In the state of Iowa, you are free to choose either legal separation or divorce as a way to terminate your relationship. You definitely want to discuss which option is best for you and your former partner with an attorney, but it’s good to know some common reasons people may choose legal separation over divorce. These reasons include the following:

  • You are opposed to divorce for moral or religious reasons
  • One spouse receives health care benefits by being married to the other
  • One spouse receives government benefits by being married to the other
  • Tax benefits
  • You think there might be a chance for reconciliation

These reasons may be solid enough to choose legal separation over divorce, but they are not the only things to take into consideration. An experienced divorce lawyer will be to advise you on which option will meet all of your wants and needs after a separation.

Contact a Cedar Rapids Divorce Lawyer

If you and your spouse are considering separation and you want to know more about your options, contact a qualified divorce attorney. At the Arenson Law Group, PC, we are very familiar with the legal processes surrounding both divorce and legal separation. We are devoted to helping clients move through either process as smoothly and easily as possible. To learn more about our team, contact our office at (319) 363-8199.