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Filing for legal separation provides an alternative for married couples who can't continue to live together but want - and need something more legally binding than just living apart.

In the eyes of the law a couple is still considered married, but filing for legal separation works to more clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each spouse. These decisions are documented and approved by a judge by way of a court order, therefore, they are legally enforceable.

Once both you and your spouse have spoken with attorneys about filing for legal separation, it's time to come to the table together. You, your spouse and the attorneys will meet with your proposed agreements and make changes or revisions until a mutually agreeable settlement has been created.

Then, one (or both) of the lawyers will file an application with the court so that a judge can sign the agreement and make it legally binding.

Couples filing legal separation can live separate lives. However, it's important to keep in mind that legally they are not single. When it comes to considering remarriage, it will be necessary to move forward with divorce.

Go to Legal Separation vs Divorce Resources

Most Common Reasons for Legal Separation

  • Not sure about divorce - a "trial divorce"
  • Possibility of reconciliation
  • Religious beliefs prohibiting divorce
  • To maintain health or other insurance
  • Tax considerations
  • To maintain social security benefits
  • A period to "work out problems" or "change"

If a legal separation should progress to divorce, how you divide your assets now will most likely be how they remain in a divorce case - So file a legal separation carefully!

Marital Separation Agreement Also known as "Marital Property Settlement".

Make sure little details like removal of names from deeds, titles, bank accounts, credit card accounts and leases, are all part of filing for legal separation. Some couples are able to come up with an agreement working together with one attorney, but generally both spouses will consult their own lawyers.

STATE SPECIFIC Legal Separation Kit For Couples WITH Children

STATE SPECIFIC Legal Separation Kit For Couples WITHOUT Children

STATE SPECIFIC Property Division Worksheet Kits

Separation or Divorce Story?

Do You Have A Story You Could Share?

If you've got story to tell about a legal challenge you've faced, please take a minute to share it. I'm sure that there's someone it could help in some way.

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