Divorce Vs. Legal Separations

If you and your spouse determine that it’s time for a change in your relationship or living arrangements, it’s essential to know your options and their legal ramifications. For some couples, a legal divorce will be the answer. For others, a temporary legal separation might be what they need. Just like no two marriages are the same, there are no cookie-cutter solutions to the changes that might need to occur within a marriage. When you work with an experienced North Carolina divorce attorney from the King Law Firm, you work with an advocate with your best interest at heart. They will ensure that you are well-informed about your rights and options.

Legal Separation

For some couples, a legal separation is a means to an end. They go through a separation before officially getting divorced. It might be a temporary solution to their problems or even serve as a trial divorce for other couples. Either way, it’s crucial to understand that you are still legally married during a legal separation. You don’t have the right to remarry until you get divorced.

In a legal separation, the couple maintains eligibility for joint health insurance and Social Security benefits even if they live apart. However, one significant drawback to a legal separation is that you could still be liable for the debts incurred by your spouse. With a legal separation, each spouse’s property inheritance rights are preserved if the other spouse dies. The spouse is still the next of kin. Therefore, they keep decision-making authority regarding medical care or financial issues if the other spouse becomes incapacitated or otherwise unable to make these critical decisions.

It’s imperative to note that a legal separation isn’t required to obtain a divorce. The couple must simply live apart for one year before being granted a divorce. Under either circumstance, it’s wise to have an agreement, similar to a divorce decree that details how essential matters will be handled, such as:


Unlike a legal separation in North Carolina, divorce is a permanent end to a marriage. It requires financial and custodial plans and the division of assets. Once you are legally divorced, you have the right to remarry again. After the divorce is finalized, you are no longer responsible for any debts your ex-spouse might take on. You are also generally no longer next of kin when it comes to making important decisions in each other’s lives. Having a finalized divorce allows many people to finally move on to the next chapter of their lives.

Questions about Divorce vs. Legal Separations? The North Carolina Divorce Attorneys at the King Law Firm Can Help

Whether you are seeking a legal separation or a divorce, our well-versed North Carolina divorce lawyers take the time to get to know you and your goals for the future. This gives us the information we need to provide the personalized guidance you expect. Our trusted lawyers will guide you through the process of divorce vs. legal separation with a focus on understanding and fairness.

The King Law Firm maintains many office locations in North Carolina to assist family law clients like yourself.  If our locations aren’t convenient, we can also meet with you in other places. To receive your free family law consultation, call (800) 635-1683 or use our confidential online contact form.