Legal separation is an important tool spouses considering divorce can use to their benefit. Because preparing for a divorce can be a stressful and emotional time, it is helpful for divorcing spouses to ensure all their questions related to the separation and divorce process are answered.
Legal separation is a specific legal process that does not end a marriage but does define the rights and obligations of the spouses while they are legally separated. A legal separation can clarify concerns related to child custody, child support, spousal support and property division for couples that have not decided if they want to divorce but want to live apart. Legal separation can also provide protections for any future earnings of the spouses.
Couples that are legally separated are also still legally married and should keep that in mind. A legal separation can ensure couples are protected while they decide whether they want to divorce. Any child custody order, child support order, spousal support order or other order can only be modified through the family law court. Couples can also agree to a change, but the family law court will evaluate its fairness and then decide whether to approve the change.
Spouses who are legally separated can also ask the court to resume their marriage, which would end their legal separation without the need to remarry. The family law process provides many resources to help couples and families in different situations, which is why couples considering divorce should be familiar with the different legal options available to them.