Mt. Juliet and Lebanon TN

When your marriage has seemed to come to an end, and you or your spouse are wanting out, often a divorce is the first choice that comes to mind. After all, it may seem that a divorce is the most common option. However, a legal separation may be better for you. A legal separation provides different outcomes that may be more beneficial for you. Here’s a look at both options – consider which may be best for you and your family.

Divorce is often the better choice if both parties believe that there is no chance of reconciliation or if either party is seeking to remarry. The state of Tennessee requires that a divorcing couple establishes grounds for divorce such as adultery, bigamy, irreconcilable differences, or cruel or inhumane treatment before the courts will finalize a divorce. Other grounds for divorce include impotence, willful or malicious dissertation, refusal to join the spouse in Tennessee, criminal convictions, or habitual drunkenness or drug abuse.

On the other hand, a legal separation may be a better option if the couple is not 100% committed to putting an end to their marriage, or if neither party is interested in remarrying anytime soon. During a legal separation, both parties may live apart while holding true to their marital vows for religious or personal reasons. However, either party may live in a separate location until a final decision is made regarding their marriage.

There are many benefits and reasons to side with a legal separation instead of a divorce right away. Review these points and discuss them with your spouse to help determine if a legal separation is right for you.

Reasons why you may wish to choose a legal separation include:

  • If your or your spouse opposes divorce for religious or moral reasons
  • Government benefits such as Social Security (if eligible)
  • Eligibility for the other spouse’s health care or insurance
  • Tax benefits
  • You and your spouse believe there is a chance you might reconcile
  • You are not eligible to file for divorce, but would prefer the court sanction a separation agreement until eligible
  • If you and/or your spouse may feel that a legal separation is less stressful to reach an agreement than to file for divorce

Every married couple is different, and it is important to seek the advice of a licensed attorney experienced in divorce law to help you determine whether to choose a divorce or a legal separation.

Tennessee requires the same grounds before filing for a legal separation as it does for divorce. Whichever choice you choose, the filing party must be a legal resident of the state of Tennessee, if filing will take place in this state. Choosing to legally separate or file for divorce can be a tough decision, but Yancy Belcher, attorney at law, is here to help answer your questions.

Contact our office at (615) 773-2889 to learn more about our services in this area.

The law office of Yancy Belcher has been serving clients in Middle Tennessee since 1999.



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