In a legal separation, a couple may decide to sign a legal and valid document that allows them to live separately, while continuing to enjoy many of the benefits of a marriage.
A legal separation is, in many ways, very similar to divorce, but a legal separation is used by couples who may have a disinclination to divorce for a variety of reasons. For instance, people may have a religious opposition to divorce, that does not allow them to end the marriage with a divorce decree. They may decide that they benefit from a legal separation agreement that allows the couple to enjoy many of the benefits of a divorce, like insurance or government benefits, healthcare benefits, and other types of benefits. If the couple is at risk of losing some of these benefits, through a divorce, then they may choose a legal separation instead.
Sometimes, couples also have tax benefits if they remain legally married to each other and in such cases, prefer to have a legal separation to retain those benefits. In other cases, people simply haven’t made a final decision for divorce, and take some time to live separately, before they make a decision.
However, a legal separation can be risky. In many cases, it is only pushing off the inevitable, and people who have a legal separation do go ahead to get divorces. A legal separation will not allow you to marry other people. The ambiguity of the relationship-legally separated but not divorced-can also increase stress for many couples. Your children may be confused about the status of your relationship in a legal separation.
In order to understand whether your situation would benefit from a legal separation as opposed to a divorce, speak to a Colorado divorce lawyer.