People are sometimes confused by the term “legal separation.” It in fact has a specific meaning in family law.
Parties to a divorce are often “separated” and a “legal” proceeding is pending. However, they are not “legally separated.” Rather, under our statutes there is a specific proceeding for a legal separation, identical to that of divorce except the relief requested of the court is a separation and not a dissolution of the marriage. Legal separations are most frequently undertaken for reasons related to health insurance or religious beliefs. However, many health insurance companies now consider “legal separation” to be equivalent to a divorce. The parties to a legal separation remain married at the conclusion of the case, although our experience has been that decrees of legal separation almost always become divorce decrees at some point. A legal separation requires the same process and challenges of a divorce, however, the parties are not free to remarry, and there remains the potential for future litigation at the time a party seeks to convert the legal separation to a divorce, and so they are very seldom advisable.
Premarital and Postmarital Agreements
Unmarried Couples with Children
Private Special Master/Arbitrator