A legal separation is a beneficial legal alternative to divorce (dissolution). The court’s jurisdiction in a legal separation matter is the same as it is in a divorce matter, meaning that the court may divide property and debts, determine child custody and support, and make orders related to future support or restraint. The difference is that you remain married.
There are many moral and legal reasons a person may choose separation over divorce. Retaining the marital relationship for legal purposes may have important effects on health insurance, inheritance, retirement resources including social security, tax status, or religious issues.
The continuation of a legal separation is also determined by the law. Six months after a legal separation has been formalized either party may bring a motion before the court to have the separation converted into a formal divorce. The decision to seek a legal separation in lieu of dissolution should take these concerns into account. The advice of an experienced family law attorney can help you understand whether a legal separation will accomplish your goals.