What Is The Difference Between Divorce And Legal Separation?

When a marriage is coming to an end it is often in your best interest to contact a divorce lawyer in Memphis, TN to help you understand everything you are going to need through this process. There are many steps to ending a marriage and in Tennesse, there are three different ways that it can go. You have the traditional divorce, then legal separation, and then annulment. No matter the method that is right for you, having a lawyer can make the process smoother and help you get from point A to point B quicker and with as few hiccups as possible. 

If you want to know more about the three options keep reading. 

What is the Difference Between Divorce and Legal Separation? 

Before you can even go through the process you have to know which separation method is the best for you ad your spouse. Each method has its own special requirements and rules, which means knowing the difference can save you time. 

Legal Separation 

This is typically not a method that is chosen but it is a valid option. When a marriage is no longer working legal separation means that the couple is able to reach an agreement on the division of assets, child custody and support, alimony, and other important issues, without filing for a divorce. 

This is considered a limited divorce. This type of separation allows the couple to have what many considered a much-needed time out from each other. It can allow people to resolve their issues while bringing in the added perspective about what the couple will lose in marriage. This can allow for people to keep their health insurance if is shared, continuing to file as a married couple on tax returns, but allowing each person to have their own financial decisions. 

If a person is not a U.S citizen and they get divorced they run the risk of deportation. However, with legal separation, they can stay in the country even if they don’t live with their spouse. 


Divorce on the other hand is permanent and straightforward. If all the requirements are met the couple will divide assets, resolve child custody and support issues, and any other concerns. The main difference between this and a legal separation is the courts must agree to issue a final decree that permanently and legally separates the couple. 

Because Tennesse is both a no-fault and fault-based state when it comes to divorce there are things that must happen to make sure everything falls into place. In an uncontested divorce, it means that all that has to happen is one party cites irreconcilable differences. In a contested divorce there has to be proof of grounds for the divorce to happen. There are several reasons for a contested divorce and it is where a lawyer comes in handy. 

Filing for divorce is the last thing anyone wants to do when it comes to marriage. However, if you have found yourself in this position talk to a divorce lawyer in Memphis, TN today to learn what the team here at Patterson Bray can do for you. 

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