What is a legal separation?

A legal separation is very much like a divorce, without the finality of a divorce. The parties remain legally married, but the court will order a division of property and will establish support and maintenance. Either party could later sue for a divorce. Legal separations are not necessarily easier or cheaper than filing for divorce, and these are requested in rare situations. In my experience, parties consider a legal separation primarly for two reasons: 1) Religious beliefs prevent the parties from obtaining a divorce or 2) One party needs to remain on the other’s health insurance policy, which would otherwise be terminated in a divorce.

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