Why Would You Get In A Legal Separation Vs. A Divorce?
Couples enter into marriage with the expectation of marriage lasting forever. However, a marriage may break down over time, and the spouses may want to end the relationship. In Oregon, married couples have the option to get a legal separation or divorce. The courts set forth child support and custody, parenting, spousal support, and property distribution with both options. Although an Oregon divorce and legal separation have some similarities, significant differences cause some spouses to choose divorce and others to file for a legal separation.
Under Oregon law, divorce is called dissolution of marriage. State law limits the grounds for which spouses can dissolve their marriage. Oregon is a no-fault divorce state; therefore, the court does not allow the spouses to give the court evidence of specific acts of a spouse’s misconduct, leading to the relationship’s downfall. The only ground for divorce in Oregon is irreconcilable differences between the spouses that caused an irreparable breakdown of the marriage. When a judge finalizes a divorce, it legally ends the marriage.
Some spouses may want to end their relationship without terminating their marriage. Rather than filing for divorce, they decide to have a legal separation. Because a legal separation does not legally end a marriage, the spouses are not free to marry another person. One ground for a legal separation in Oregon is irreconcilable differences due to a temporary or unlimited breakdown of the marriage. Spouses unsure about ending their marriage may file for legal separation to decide if they want to reconcile or terminate their relationship. A married couple may seek legal separation by filing an agreement with the court that suspends their obligation to live together as spouses for no less than one year. Legal separation also may be a preferred choice for financial, legal, social or religious reasons. Another reason why spouses may not want a divorce is that under Oregon law, a dissolution of marriage revokes the provisions in a spouse’s will in favor of the former spouse. The statute is for wills written before the termination of the marriage. Oregon law also revokes all provisions in a transfer on death deed in favor of a former spouse.