For some couples, legal separation is a better choice than divorce. Simply put, a legal separation is the dissolution of a marriage just short of getting divorced. These parties are technically still married and cannot remarry without going the step further. For now, New Jersey does not legally recognize legal separation. They do not provide any support for couples to get legally separated. “If you are living separate and apart from your spouse, you may consider yourself separated”, per New Jersey’s website. That said, there are ways to accomplish one’s goal of getting legally separated, namely through a separation agreement and a divorce from bed and board.
Why would people choose legal separation?
There are numerous reasons why a person chooses legal separation over divorce. Some of these reasons include:
- Financial benefits
- Tax benefits
- Medical benefits
- Religious beliefs
- Keeping a relationship open for reconciliation
- Qualification to be a foster parent
For many, avoiding divorce is a good option.
As stated above, there are two ways to achieve your goal of legal separation in the state of New Jersey.
- Divorce from bed and board: Divorce from bed and board is a somewhat outdated process. It is rarely used because parties must go through much of the divorce process and end up often just moving on to finalizing the divorce. This process was used more often when divorce held a stronger social stigma. Like divorce, the couple will have a court decide on marital issues.
- Separation Agreements: Through alternative dispute resolution, a couple can work through all marital issues, ending the matter with a contract called a Separation Agreement. Once the couple agrees to the terms of the divorce, the document can be drafted, signed, and notarized, making it binding. Furthermore, the existence of a Separation Agreement is grounds for a divorce, if the couple so desires down the road.
The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.