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

  • How To Financially Prepare For Divorce
    At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, our dedicated Maryland family law attorneys understand that the decision to end a marriage has major consequences in every area of your life. Understanding and preparing for the financial implications of divorce should be one of the first steps during the divorce process.
  • Common Divorce Mistakes
    Dealing with the financial and emotional aspects of divorce can be extremely taxing. Recognizing and avoiding these common mistakes make for the smoothest transition possible as couples move into the next phase of their lives.
  • A Case of Fraud and Divorce
    Sometimes in divorce cases, spouses feel that they have been defrauded by the other spouse. Sometimes that feeling is justified. They wonder whether they can make a claim for fraud in their divorce case. The case of Cramer v. Cramer looked specifically at this issue.
  • Different Issues Handled by a Family Attorney
    You are proposed to contemplate a number of distinct things, with regards to selecting quality family attorneys.
  • The Process for Custody Disputes Involving Parents in Different States
    In todayís society where travel has become easier and easier, many children have parents who live in different states. When there is a custody dispute between the parents living in different states, which state hears this dispute?
  • What You Need to Know About Taxes and Divorce
    Divorce can be emotionally and financially devastating to all involved parties. It is important for all divorcing and separating couples to understand the tax implications of financial decisions relating to divorce. State and federal tax laws address divorce with respect to income calculation, exemptions, deductions and tax credits.
  • Age Difference Between Spouses Impacts Likelihood of Divorce
    There are numerous variables which can predict if a marriage is destined for divorce. Among these factors are income levels, having children and the amount of time a couple spends together prior to getting married. A recent study compiled data from over 3,000 married and divorced couples which showed that the age difference between the individuals getting married can also predict the likelihood of whether or not the marriage will last or end in divorce.
  • For a Friendly Divorce, Florida Couples Find Help in Divorce Mediation
    If couples can put their differences aside to create an atmosphere of teamwork, they can work with a divorce mediator to help them achieve a friendly divorce.
  • How Can I Get Divorced in One State When My Spouse Lives in Another State?
    Getting a divorce becomes more complicated when spouses no longer live in the same state. In some situations, a spouse has moved to another state right after the couple recently separated. In other cases, the spouses have continued separate lives in different states for several years. Even if spouses live in different states, they can still get divorced.
  • The Divorce Process: Decide or Have the Decision Made for You
    Decide or have the decision made for you. This phrase applies to pretty much everything in the area of family law. You canít make any decisions for anyone else, but you can decide how youíre going to approach these challenges. If you donít decide how youíre going to approach these difficulties, the decision will be made for you.

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