Legal Separation

U.S. Divorce Law Center

Legal Separation Laws in the U.S. Copyright

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 Divorce Affects Social Security in New Jersey
    In the state of New Jersey, there are two types of social security benefits a person can receive within a marriage.
  • How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in New Jersey?
    Luckily, more New Jersey family courts are beginning to recognize and address issues of parental alienation when presented with them in court. If you think your child has been the subject of these tactics you need to secure an experienced Mercer County family lawyer.
  • How Do You Transfer Assets in a New Jersey Divorce?
    Part and parcel of the divorce process is disclosing full income to determine the appropriate alimony and child support to be paid. In some cases, one spouse may choose to not make full disclosure, which results in much lower child support payments. Do you suspect that your spouse is withholding financial information? Enlisting an experienced Family Lawyer will help you ensure your settlement adds up.
  • Relocation of the Custodial Parent
    Child custody matters become complicated when the parent with primary custody wants to relocate.
  • Private Investigator: Top Signs Your Spouse May Be Cheating
    Spouses who are concerned that their spouse is being unfaithful have options including hiring a private investigator. A private investigator can use technology and conduct surveillance in order to discover whether a spouse has been stepping out on the marriage.
  • Prenuptial and Antenuptial Agreements in Minnesota
    Retaining an experienced attorney is important part of negotiating, drafting and reviewing prenuptial contracts. Costly errors are not easily remedied, if they can be remedied at all.
  • What Do I Need to Know About New Jersey Divorce Mediation
    The break-up of a marriage is a painful time for all involved. And the division of two intertwined lives can be complicated. It usually brings a myriad of issues to the forefront that need to be addressed before either party can move on fully. Some such issues include child custody and property ownership.
  • Divorce Papers Via Facebook
    Courts across the United States are increasingly allowing divorce papers (and other legal papers) to be served through social media sites.
  • Two Types of Alimony in Maryland
    In the state of Maryland, married couples have a financial responsibility to each other. The law says that one spouse has to support the other financially and vice versa.
  • Maternal Custody Laws in New Jersey
    New Jersey has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act that was founded in 1979. The Uniform Child Custody Act helps prevent inner-state custody disputes.

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