A legal separation is an order of the Court for financial support for a spouse or children while the parties are living apart, when there is some justifiable reason for living apart or one spouse has abandoned the other without providing for their financial support.
Legal separation is accomplished through a Complaint for Separate Support which is filed with the Court. In a proceeding for Separate Support, the Court can also address the issues of custody and parenting of children. However, the Court cannot divide any property under a Complaint for Separate Support, as it does not have the same finality as a divorce. The parties can divide their own property, but that division could be subject to reallocation by the Court if the case does become a divorce case later in time.
A Complaint for Separate Support is often appropriate for individuals who do not want to proceed to divorce and either want a trial separation or are considering the possibility of reconciliation, or for individuals who might have moral or religious reasons related to divorce. A legal separation may also be appropriate in other circumstances.
Our lawyers can help you decide whether a legal separation is the right solution for you. Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.