Legal Separation

U.S. Divorce Law Center





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

  • Parental Alienation in New Jersey
    New Jersey is not the easiest state to fight a parental alienation case. However, with the right strategy and the right attitude, you can win.
  • Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
    There are several types of divorce proceedings and manners that couples decide to dissolve a relationship. One that provides a swifter conclusion is an uncontested divorce. The other that may cause extensive time, money and energy to resolve is a contested divorce.
  • Are Prenuptial Agreements Necessary in New Jersey?
    In New Jersey you are not required by law to make a prenuptial agreement before marriage however it is advisable to do so.
  • Role of Private Investigators in Child Custody Cases
    Many child custody cases are heated and involve allegations from both sides lodged against each other. Having a private investigator can help tilt the evidence in one direction. A private investigator can perform a number of investigative functions to gather the information necessary to prove the client’s claims.
  • Fighting New Jersey CPS Interrogations
    CPS or Child Protective Services is mainly responsible for the protection of children.
  • New Jersey CPS Parents Rights
    Child Protective Services (CPS) is the United States governmental agency responsible for child protection and acts upon complaints of child abuse and neglect.
  • CPS Guidelines For Child Removal In New Jersey
    The State of New Jersey’s public policy considers a child’s safety and health of utmost concern.
  • How CPS Decides if a New Jersey Child Is in Danger
    The New Jersey CP & P: It is the Child Protection and Permanency under the Department Child and Family (DCF) that is responsible for the governmental Child Protection Services (CPS) in the state of New Jersey.
  • Unique Considerations in High Net Worth Divorce Cases
    Property division is one of the most contested issues in divorce cases. However, this issue becomes even more contentious and emotional in cases involving couples with a high net worth. Some unique considerations for these individuals include:
  • What Are the Separation Laws in New Jersey?
    Divorce in the New Jersey in is legally referred to as the termination of marriage in a court of law. A separation agreement is the first step in the divorce case.



Find a Lawyer

Find a Local Lawyer