What Are The Different Types Of Separation

Do you know the meaning of separation? The answer would be of course, it is when a couple is separated before the ultimate divorce. With it, they find time to rethink their decision with the assistance of their divorce lawyers.

The answer is a very simple and common definition, but in actual it is quite the contrary. There are 3 types of separation:

  • Trial separation
  • Permanent separation
  • Legal Separation

Separation is the period before the divorce takes place or as ordered by the court. This means that you are still legally married to your spouse but are living separately and not together. The 3 types of separation are defined in detail below.

Trial Separation

It is usually the period before the divorce or if the spouses want to live separately and rethink the decision whether to reconcile or get a divorce. This separation is decided mutually by both the spouses and divorced is not filed yet. In this both the spouses are living separately but have all the financial and sharing rights such as whatever assets or debts acquired during the trial period will be shared by both the spouses. If you get divorced afterwards then all the assets, property or debts acquired during the trial period will be equally divided.

Whether you opt for reconciliation or file for a divorce it is better to draft an informal agreement where you write down all the major issues such as alimony, assets division, who gets to live in the marital home, the sharing of the bank account and credit cards, who gets to keep the kids and when and how much the time the other spouse gets to spend with the kids if you have. However, if there is no chance of reconciliation then you are on the road to permanent separation.

Permanent Separation

When you and your spouse have literally no chance of reconciliation and getting back together again, it is permanent separation. This means the trial separation proved that you are better off without one another. Many states have different laws for permanent separation regarding property and finance but the basic ones remain the same. Property and finances are not shared in permanent separation but remain in the ownership of the respective spouse who acquired them. This means when you were in trial separation then you both would have shared finances but once you decide there is no chance of reconciliation then since that date the finances will not be shared.

There could be problems in deciding the permanent separation date. For instance, you and your spouse were in time of trial separation and you decided to not get back together so bow any debts incurred or profit acquired will be the sole property of your spouse but then after 2 weeks you decide to spend time again for old times’ sake and after a few days you decide that getting back together was a wrong decision. So, the new separation date will be valid and the old separation date will not be applicable.

Legal Separation

This is a rather interesting term. In legal separation, you are not divorced but not married either and you cannot even get married again. This is obtained by filing a case in the family law court. The rulings are the same as of divorce such as alimony, child support, property and asset division but still you are not divorced. Many states do not support legal separation but some do.

This type of separation is mostly opted by people who don’t want go for a divorce due to religious beliefs, or just for sake of keeping the family together and that the kids do not get to choose sides, or to get health and insurance benefits from one spouse or simply because of not liking to be named a divorcee. This way people can live their own separate lives and as a family are together.


Whatever method of separation you choose, make sure to discuss with someone wise and make sure the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Moreover, get the legal services of best family lawyers Fairfax VA to improve your chances of winning the divorce case. If both the parties need a quick divorce, they settle things outside of court.

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