What’s cheaper: divorce or separation?

Posted December 13th, 2013 by .

Categories: Family Law.

Ending a marriage can be an extremely expensive process. There are lawyer fees, court fees, plus any alimony or child support you will have to pay. So is it really financially worth it? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just get legally separated?

First, you should know that according to New Jersey law, there is no such thing as a legal or formal separation. You can,  however, get a marital settlement agreement, also known as an inter-spousal agreement or a property settlement agreement. This agreement allows the parties to distribute the assets, come up with a parenting plan, and other financial issues without filing for divorce. This is a good plan if you just need some time away from your spouse because let’s face it, we all could use a separation from our spouses from time to time. A little time apart can make you realize things weren’t as bad as you first thought.

However, you can put yourself into serious risk by staying separated instead of divorcing. For example, your spouse has a huge student loan debt at the time of your separation. She loses her job and can’t afford to make payments on the loan. Instead of dealing with the issue, she lets the loan go into default. Even though you are separated, in the eyes of the law you are still responsible for her debts. You could be the one who is forced to pay and see your credit rating crash and burn.

For more information on separation and divorce, click here.  Are you a father going through a divorce? Then download our free e-book entitled “Dads in Divorce: A Father’s Guide to the Rights and Realities of Divorce.”

And remember, if you are going through a divorce, contact us and we’ll help you through it.


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