Legal Separation

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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

  • Same-Sex Divorce Negates Woman’s Visitation Rights
    State laws prevailing over same-sex divorces are deficient, which creates a significant disadvantage regarding child visitation rights for same-sex couples who had children before they were legally married.
  • Grandparents’ Visitation Rights
    A recent Westmoreland County ruling could affect the way Pennsylvania courts handle visitation and custody rights of grandparents.
  • Proposed Law Would Shorten Divorce Waiting Period
    In Pennsylvania, there are three basic types of divorce. The first two are not based on fault, but rather on the premise that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • Deciding Between Divorce and Separation
    In Pennsylvania, there are no laws that recognize the term “legal separation.”
  • Electronic Privacy During Divorce or Separation
    As Americans, our online and offline lives are almost always intertwined, affecting the way we live, work and communicate.
  • Can I Afford To Get Divorced?
    Few things in life are as emotional as getting divorced. What’s more, no one likes the idea of spending hard-earned money on lawyers, especially given the fact that financial distress is the leading cause of divorce.
  • How Is Equity Determined in a Divorce?
    In many situations, the family home is the most valuable asset in a divorce. It is common for spouses not to agree on how to treat this asset that they both may have been paying for during a number of years. However, determining the equity of a home is a vital component to reaching a final divorce settlement.
  • The Difference Between a Dissolution and a Contested Divorce in Ohio
    The two primary legal vehicles to bring a marriage to an end in Ohio are a “dissolution” and a “contested divorce.” The key difference between the two options lies in the resolution of all issues contained within the “Settlement Agreement.”
  • Divorce & Parenting Arrangements
    Most parents experiencing a divorce tell me that their primary concern is their children’s best interests. And most of the time I believe them.
  • Dividing Real Property in Divorce
    The most valuable asset in many divorce cases is the marital home. The disposition of this asset can have a significant impact on the financial health of the parties after divorce. Additionally, special considerations must be given to other pieces of real property that the couple owns. There are several options in determining how to deal with real estate in a divorce case. However, there are certain steps that must be taken before considering what is the best solution.

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