Broadway and Hollywood stars Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs announced yesterday, through their representatives, that they were planning on separating after a decade long marriage. The longtime couple has one child, a 4 year old son named Walker. It appears that the pair are taking a cue from other splitting celebrities by making their son their "primary focus and concern". While news outlets rush to cover celebrity divorces and separations, they often confuse the two. So, what exactly is the difference?
If a married couple decides to divorce, they will be able to legally and financially cut ties with each other. This means that they will no longer file taxes jointly, share assets, and in most cases, each party would need to get their own (separate) health insurance. Divorces are very common and are generally more costly and time consuming than separations.
Separations, on the other hand, allow the couple to remain legally married and share the financial perks of marriage, while leading separate lives. Couples who decide to separate rather than a divorce can still file joint tax returns, remain on their spouse's medical insurance, maintain ownership of marital property, and even benefit from their spouse's Social Security. It is important to note that there are different kinds of separation options available: Trial Separation, Permanent Separation, and Legal Separation.
While a separation isn't as big of a life changing decision as divorce, you should still weight your options heavily. By discussing your concerns with an experienced matrimonial and family law attorney, you can get a better idea of what will work best for you. Brian D. Perskin & Associates has assisted many clients who are interested in obtaining a legal separation by helping them develop a plan of action that addresses child custody and visitation, property and asset usage, in addition to benefits such health insurance and Social Security. If your separation eventually leads to divorce, you can rest assured that the process will be less stressful if you already have a legal agreement in place that outlines important factors. Contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates for your consultation today!