Legal separation and divorce are the same in most ways. Both involve determination of custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and division of assets and debts. The difference is that couples that are legally separated are also still legally married. This is relevant for remarriage, insurance, filing taxes and other such activities. A Legal Separation does not terminate the married status of a couple. For this reason, most people opt for a Dissolution of Marriage (commonly referred to as divorce).
Some couples choose legal separation in order to retain certain benefits related to insurance and taxes. Others may opt for legal separation due to religious or moral beliefs prohibiting divorce.
As with divorce, individuals wishing to seek a legal separation must first petition the court and then follow the process of completing financial disclosures and an agreement that outlines determinations as to child custody and visitation, spousal support and division of assets and debts among other outlined issues. The two processes require a similar amount of time and work. One of our team members at Green Giraffe can help you to better understand and determine the best route for you and your family.