The difference between a legal separation and divorce in NJ

Posted May 17th, 2013 by .

Categories: Family Law.

divorce-legal-separation-new-jerseyLegal separation and divorce are very similar, with one key difference: a legally separated couple remains married. You still need to negotiate child custody, child support, visitation, alimony, and property division during a legal separation. However, you will be living separately. If you decide to get divorced at a later date, you will still need to go through the necessary legal steps to file for divorce.

There are a few different reasons why a couple might decide upon a legal separation instead of a divorce, such as:

  • Eligibility for Social Security benefits – If your marriage lasts for at least 10 years, and you do not remarry after your divorce, you are entitled to certain Social Security benefits once you reach the age of 62.
  • Insurance coverage – Usually, your spouse’s employer will only deny benefits for a divorce, not a legal separation. Check the fine print of your spouse’s benefit package to ensure this is the case.
  • Taxes – Some couples want to protect the potential tax benefits they receive by filing joint tax returns. However, federal tax law concerning this matter is increasingly complex. It helps to have an attorney on your side who understands the details of how your separation will impact your finances under the law.
  • Pooling of resources – Maintaining two separate households can be expensive. By keeping your resources pooled, you can potentially save money in the long run.

If you have further questions about the pros and cons of legal separation vs. divorce, please contact The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today or call 201-963-6000 to schedule a free case evaluation. We offer early morning, evening, and weekend appointments, and our Jersey City office is located just steps away from the Journal Square PATH station.


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