Legal Separation

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Legal Separation Laws in the U.S. Copyright HG.org

Legal Separation

A legal separation and a physical separation are not the same thing. In a physical separation, although the couple lives separately, there is no formal legal agreement.

A legal separation allows a husband and wife to live separately and formalize the arrangement by a court order or a written agreement. The arrangement addresses spousal support, and child custody, visitation and support, when relevant.

It is not equivalent to a divorce or dissolution and recognizes the possibility that the couple may reunite. It does not terminate a marriage, and so, does not allow the parties to remarry.

It is not necessary to be legally separated before obtaining a divorce. Although, most states have provisions for legally separated couples to commute their separation agreement to a divorce action, should they decide to do so.

Not all states recognize legal separations.

Legal Separation Laws by State

Laws governing Legal Separation vary from state to state and some states do not recognize it. The following links provide general overviews of individual states' legal separation laws, where applicable.

Legal Separation Law Articles

  • Effect of Adultery on Divorce Cases in Florida
    While it can be devastating to discover that your spouse has been unfaithful and broken his or her vows, laws are increasingly finding such information irrelevant. Most heartbalm statutes have been eliminated across the country, limiting the rights of the aggrieved spouse to seek compensation from the adultery partner.
  • Custody Rights of Fathers Getting a Divorce in Texas
    One of the most important decisions to make during the divorce process is which parent or parents should have custody of the children. There are several ways that this decision can be made, and several factors that affect this decision.
  • Orders of Protection in Texas
    People break up and get divorced every day. Many of these relationships may end in an amicable fashion. Even if the relationship involves some bitterness and drama, the only turmoil is usually emotional.
  • What Property Rights do Registered Domestic Partners Have?
    Several states have recognized registered domestic partners for many years, longer than same-sex marriages have been recognized in many jurisdictions. Although the Supreme Court’s decision in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage across the country, many registered domestic partnership laws remain intact.
  • Finalizing a Divorce in Baltimore County
    One of the most frequent questions that divorcing couples ask is “how long will this take?”
  • New Maryland Divorce Law
    A new Maryland law will now make it easier for couples without minor children to divorce.
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support in Utah
    For parents, child support in the event of a spousal separation or divorce is one of the most serious issues that they will have to face. If you are a parent and are concerned about your rights to child support, or your child support obligation, the following answers some of the most FAQs about child support in Utah.
  • What Is an Incorporated Settlement Agreement in Divorce?
    In divorce orders and separation agreements, there may be terms such as “merged,” “survived” or “incorporated” that individuals without a legal background may not understand. However, these terms have very specific meanings and can have a big impact on the divorce.
  • What Is the Difference Between Fault and No-Fault Divorce?
    When a spouse petitions for divorce, he or she usually has two options. He or she can either ask for a divorce based on no-fault grounds or he or she can file based on fault-grounds. The option he or she chooses depends on the state laws where he or she lives and the particular circumstances of the case.
  • What Are the Steps I Need to Take When Dealing with a Divorce in Salt Lake City?
    Making the decision to file for divorce is not always easy because there are a lot of things to take into consideration, personally, financially, and legally. If you make the decision to seek a divorce, it is important to remember that in dealing with a divorce in Salt Lake City, there are some legal requirements that have to be taken, some of which are discussed below.



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