A party contemplating a Legal Separation should know that the process and costs of doing so are identical to that of a divorce. Property and debt must be divided, child custody, parenting time and child support must be set, and any retirement accounts or pensions must be divided. Anyone contemplating filing for Legal Separation should know that if at any time during the proceedings, one party moves to convert the Legal Separation to one of Dissolution (divorce), the Court will do so automatically.
There are many benefits to obtaining a Legal Separation versus a Dissolution. For instance, one party may be permitted to continue insurance for the other through their employment. Also, the parties may still file taxes together as a married couple.
The down side of obtaining a Legal Separation is that the parties are still, technically, married. Neither party can get remarried until a divorce is obtained. Also, if, after a Legal Separation Decree is entered, either party desires to get a divorce, the process must start all over and the 60 day wait period begins again.
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