A legal separation is effectively a divorce without the divorce decree from the court. Assets are divided, a parenting plan is created, child support and spousal maintenance are ordered. An important distinction to understand is that assets acquired during the legal separation are typically considered non-marital. Additionally, neither party can legally get remarried under a legal separation.
The reasons for seeking a legal separation are as individual as the parties involved. It may simply be that the couple is not sure if divorce is the solution and a legal separation is a trial step in making the final decision. Some couples may have religious beliefs which conflict with divorce. Rules regarding taxes and inheritances are different under a legal separation rather than a divorce. Retirement, social security and insurance benefits may remain in place in certain circumstances under a legal separation when they cannot after a divorce.
If you are considering a legal separation, we strongly recommend you speak with an attorney to understand these and the many other considerations you will need to decide when taking this action. Our attorneys have the experience to help you negotiate the path through a legal separation.
Assets and property, including the family home, will be divided under the same rules as divorce in a legal separation. If the parties agree to a specific allocation of assets, including the family home, this may include one party remaining in the home.
Under most circumstances, you can remain on your spouses health insurance. This is an area that will need to be negotiated and placed in the legal separation order as your spouse will not otherwise be obligated to keep you on their coverage.
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