Divorce is complicated process, and while it does resolve many conflicts in marriages that cease to function, it is not the only option that couples have under the law. In some cases, couples may find that pursuing a legal separation allows them to "restructure" their marriage to create a stronger, lasting relationship. In others, a legal separation may simply create a civil, responsible preamble to a successful divorce, offering couples time and space to consider the divorce carefully and ensure that each party receives fair consideration.
Like a divorce, legal separation involves court orders that determine many aspects of property division and parenting during the separation. However, a legal separation is not a divorce, and does not legally dissolve a marriage. In some instances, a legally separated couple may resolve their conflicts responsibly and continue the marriage from a newly built foundation.
Legal separations may order separation maintenance, which is similar in form and practice to alimony and child support. Separation maintenance intends to create a level playing field for both spouses by providing not only for living expenses but also legal expenses. This way, neither spouse has unreasonable influence on the outcome of the separation.
If you believe that a legal separation may be a good fit for your family, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who understands the nuances of family law. With professional guidance, you can take the time to assess your marriage and your legal options, creating the space you need to resolve your marital conflicts while protecting your rights and the rights of the ones you love.
Source: Findlaw, "Legal Separation vs. Divorce," accessed Dec. 29, 2017