Legal SeparationA legal separation allows married couples to separate, divide their assets and debts, determine maintenance, child support, parenting time, and other parental issues without getting divorced. A legal separation is chosen over a divorce commonly for religious or insurance reasons. For instance, if your religion does not allow for divorce, you may obtain a legal separation and receive most of the same benefits of being divorced with one big difference; you are not divorced and you cannot get remarried. In addition to religious reasons for obtaining a legal separation, some insurance companies allow a spouse to continue to be covered under the policy if the parties are legally separated and not divorced. This could be very important for those people who are “uninsurable” or who suffer from continued health problems.
The steps taken to obtain a legal separation are essentially identical to the steps taken to obtain a divorce. Additionally, if parties choose to be legally separated instead of divorced, either party, after having waited six (6) months after the issuance by the court of a Decree of Legal Separation, may petition the court and request that the legal separation be converted to a divorce. Therefore, if you are legally separated and decide that you would rather be divorced it is a simple process.
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