What Is Legal Separation?

The terms divorce and separation are often used interchangeably. However, they are different. Watch the Youtube video “What is the Difference Between a Divorce and a Legal Separation?” to explain the differences. With marriage, we aim to keep our family together and protect it at all costs.

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Sadly, things don’t always work out that way. In some cases, spouses may opt to separate while considering the decision to divorce legally.

The Legal Separation Definition

In simple terms, legal separation is a status. It allows legally married partners to live in separate locations while remaining married. The courts recognize this status as a formal arrangement. Also, the courts will assign rights, obligations, and duties to each party regarding the separation. The married couple should first seek a court order when they decide to separate legally.

The court order will outline obligations for the separation. Legal separation is an alternative to divorce. Furthermore, a legal separation does not mean the couple is divorced. Therefore, partners in a legal separation can not marry again until they have concluded their divorce. The process starts with filing a petition in court.

While separation isn’t the same as divorce in legal terms, it is similar in every other aspect. After filing the petition, the court will review the application and make an order regarding assets and how they will be divided, child care and maintenance, alimony, etc.


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