Separation Vs Divorce Pros and Cons: The Full (Comparison)

The bitter truth that most people face in their marriage is a trial separation. When someone hurts us, we usually have an instant and instinctive urge to respond and hurt them back. So here we are going to explain the separation vs divorce pros and cons & the major pitfalls to avoid if you are separated but not divorced.

During the trial separation period, it is easy to play the blame game, and people often refuse to cooperate and become increasingly unrealistic with their demands on a spouse.

Many pitfalls can make this period difficult and even worse when our feelings are hurt. But what can we actually do?

In this article, we will try to briefly explain 7 painful pitfalls to avoid if you are separated but not divorced (separation vs divorce pros and cons) and many other aspects involved in this that should educate you and give you a better insight.

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Is It Better To Separate Or Divorce?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. Separation is for couples whose marriage is falling apart.

Separation can be understood as the last step before the final divorce but also as the last chance to save the marriage.

Is It Better To Separate Or Divorce

When separated, both spouses have enough time to think about everything and set their priorities. Being separated means spouses are living apart but retaining their marital status. Legally separated spouses are still married.

The separated life brings several benefits over divorce in situations like when retaining the benefits of a health care plan.

More concisely, separation gives enough time to both parties to resolve their issues.

On the other hand, if you feel that there is no solution to your disagreement/problems, there is nothing left but to divorce.

How Long Should Couples Stay Separated?

How Long Should Couples Stay Separated

The couples should opt for a specific duration of separation. It should not be constantly extended or abruptly interrupted without any conclusion. The ideal time for couples to stay separated is between three and six months.

It is quite enough time for both partners to think about everything and regain honesty, especially if they have children.

If the separated life continues after this period, there is a risk of falling into a new routine that will make it difficult to return to the old one.

The longer the separation continues, the couples will get used to a new separated lifestyle.

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What Should You Not Do During Separation?

What Should You Not Do During Separation

If you are facing separation from your spouse, you should be aware of these common pitfalls to avoid additional unnecessary litigation.

First of all, never make a threat or become violent with your partner. There is no justification for domestic violence, and in addition, you will lose custody of your children.

Also, always try not to involve children in the conflict with your spouse. Try to avoid discussion or conflict in front of your kids, or don’t think about using them as messengers between you and your partner.

Do not publicize it. Once you tell someone, everyone will have something to say on the subject, and worst of all, you will hear different horror stories that can only make the situation worse.

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Why Would You Get A Legal Separation Instead Of A Divorce?

Regarding legal separation vs divorce, couples choose a legal separation for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons for this is that both parties belong to the same religion that does not allow/recognize divorce.

Legal separation allows them to go on with their lives without breaking their religious norms/beliefs. Another reason people choose legal separation instead of divorce is that they are not completely sure whether or not they want to decide on the final step and get divorced.


Separated But Not Divorced: 7 Painful Pitfalls To Avoid

Keep in mind these 7 painful pitfalls you should avoid when separating or divorcing:

  1. Do not confuse your material needs with emotional needs
  2. Never let other people define your needs
  3. Do not ignore your emotional and physical health
  4. Divorce is not the end of your life
  5. Do not involve your kids because sometimes it gets nasty
  6. Do not lose track of your children
  7. Never criticize your partner in front of children

What Are The Advantages Of Separation?

In many ways, legal separation is similar to divorce, so why should someone choose separation instead of getting a divorce? Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages of separation:

  • You can retain your marital status for religious beliefs/reasons
  • Couples can live apart for some time and find out if the divorce is what they want
  • Enjoying insurance benefits
  • Keeping your marriage alive to fulfill requirements to meet the 10 years obligation to qualify for social security benefits.
  • Protecting financial interests


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Financial Benefits Of Legal Separation

Legal separation brings more financial benefits than divorce:

  1. Tax advantage when you are paying spousal support. Those payments can serve as a deduction at tax time.
  2. You retain some of the marital benefits. You can keep some of the benefits you had during the marriage.
  3. Everything is outlined: who pays what.


Disadvantages Of Legal Separation

The disadvantages of legal separation are complex to clarify because some parts of separation have a direct effect on another.


Legal separation can be as intense and lengthy as divorce because it involves distributing debts/assets or division of property.

The mental strain

Although most couples consider legal separation a good step towards preserving a marriage, most of them experience a downfall of the relationship because of the mental strain.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Divorce?

Before you take the final step to divorce, you must evaluate the pros and cons of divorce.


  • Another chance to live the life you want
  • You can find your happiness
  • Developing personal skills


  • Negative psychological health impacts (anxiety, depression, unhappiness, etc.)
  • Children can suffer too.


The Takeaway:

The separation should last for a short period, but believe it or not, many couples go on for years waiting for others to make the first move. People who truly want to save their marriage can always seek professional help, which is very effective. For more details, see here.


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