Answers to common questions about legal separation and divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Divorce

Considering the path forward in your marriage?

In Indiana, both legal separation and divorce are options, and understanding their differences can help you to make informed decisions.

Is legal separation the same as divorce?

No, a divorce dissolves a marriage entirely, while a legal separation allows spouses to live separately but remain married. For the duration of the separation period, neither spouse may remarry.

How long does legal separation last?

Some states allow them to last indefinitely, but legal separations are temporary in Indiana, lasting for a maximum of one year. After that year, couples must decide to reconcile or start divorce proceedings.

Do they both address the same issues?

Both processes can determine child custody arrangements, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony) and division of marital property and debts. The court will likely follow similar guidelines to those used in divorce to reach decisions in a legal separation.

Are there advantages to separation over divorce?

Some use legal separation as a trial run for either divorcing or reconciling. It can also provide a structured framework for resolving child-related and financial issues while you consider your options, including divorce. Note that you may not seek a legal separation in Indiana if you have already initiated divorce.

What else should you consider?

You’ll want to ensure your decisions address your immediate concerns and do not pose any problems down the road.

Understanding the legalities of separation and divorce can be empowering during a challenging time. An Indiana representative can provide tailored guidance no matter which forward-facing path you choose.

FindLaw Network
10 Best | Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Family Law Attorneys | 2016
BBB | Accredited Business | A+ Rating
Avvo | Clients' Choice | Family Law | 2017
Lake County Bar Association
Indiana State Bar Association
The National Trial Lawyers | Trial Lawyers