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When to choose legal separation over divorce

At the beginning of your marriage, you probably thought you would stay with your spouse forever. Nonetheless, a significant number of New Hampshirites divorce every year. If you are not ready to file for divorce, you may benefit from a legal separation. 

Both legal separation and divorce afford you certain rights and protections. Pursuing a legal separation, however, may help you decide whether divorce is right for you. Here are four advantages of obtaining a legal separation instead of a divorce. 

1. Stay together for the children 

Explaining your decision to divorce to your children can be extraordinarily difficult. You may be able to reduce the anxiety your children feel by opting for a legal separation instead of a divorce. When your children grow up and leave the home, you can revisit your option to file for divorce from your spouse. 

2. Choose the right path 

You may not know if you want to divorce your spouse. While you may never feel entirely confident with your choice, choosing a legal separation may help you decide. If you think you may want to reconcile with your spouse, avoiding a divorce may be a good idea. 

3. Negotiate financial matters 

Dealing with marital property is often the most complicated part of divorce proceedings. If you have considerable wealth, dividing property may be even more challenging. When you commit to a legal separation, you buy yourself some time to negotiate financial matters and come to a reasonable agreement. 

4. Avoid divorce stigma 

Your family, friends, religious leaders and others may have a negative view of divorce. With a legal separation, you receive a court order that details your obligations. You do not, however, have to live with the stigma of divorce. 

Both legal separation and divorce help you manage your post-marriage life. If you are not quite ready to file for divorce, however, a legal separation may be a better option. Regardless of the path you choose, you must work diligently to protect your assets and parenting rights.

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