Separation is an alternative to divorce for couples that do not want something as permanent as divorce. Separation is easily reversible, so couples that feel like the relationship can be mended or change in the future often consider separation. However, couples that are considering this option might want to know the difference between a legal separation and a trial separation. We’ll break down the primary differences so you can make an informed decision about your relationship with your spouse.
What Is the Difference Between Legal Separation and Trial Separation?
Legal separation is a process in which a couple seeks court approval for terms of living separately. These terms, such as financial management and debt division, child support and custody, and spousal maintenance, can be outlined in a Separation Agreement for the court’s approval. It is often chosen by couples who do not wish to end their marriage immediately through divorce, but instead want to live apart while protecting their rights in regards to money, property, children, and debts. Legal separation allows couples to determine if they wish to reconcile or proceed with divorce.
Trial separation, on the other hand, is an informal agreement between spouses to separate and evaluate their relationship. The terms of trial separation are determined by the spouses without court involvement. Property acquired during a trial separation is still considered marital property, but couples can document decisions about assets, children, and finances through a written Separation Agreement.
Does Legal Separation Exist in New Jersey?
The term “Legal Separation” is not used in New Jersey state law as it is in other states. This creates some confusion for New Jersey couples as to whether or not separation is a valid option. Even though that exact terminology is not used in this state, married couples who are civil and agreeable are still able to enter into a legally binding separation agreement.
Contact Steven B. Menack About Separation Mediation
Separation mediation helps couples move on with their lives in a collaborative and positive manner without total dissolution of a marriage. When it comes to mediation, Mr. Menack has helped many couples reach a fair agreement together over the course of 25 years. If legal separation and separation mediation seem like the right call for you and your spouse, do not hesitate to contact us in order to find out more about the mediation process.
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