A legal separation is similar to a divorce in that it deals with the same issues:
- Child Custody
- Parenting Time
- Child Support
- Spousal Maintenance
- Equitable Division of Joint and Community Property
- Equitable Allocation of Joint and Community Debts
- Attorney’s Fees and Costs.
A legal separation differs from a divorce in that a legal separation does not end the marriage. If you have a legal separation you are not able to remarry. You remain married until you obtain a decree of dissolution of marriage.
A legal separation ends the marital community. No further community property is acquired, and any property acquired is the separate property of the person who acquires it. Also no further community debts are incurred, and any debts incurred are the separate debts of the party who incurred them.
Some people want a legal separation because they want the protections or benefits such as child custody, child support and/or spousal maintenance, or stopping the other spouse from incurring community debts while still leaving the door open to reconciliation in the future.
If the other spouse objects to a legal separation and requests a dissolution of marriage, the court will enter an order dissolving the marriage.
If you have a legal separation, you can obtain a divorce in the future.