Legal Separation

Legal Separation

Is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize separation while remaining legally married. A legal separation is granted in the form of a court order.

Furthermore, in cases where children are involved, a court order of legal separation often makes temporary arrangements for the care, custody, and financial support of the children. Thus, part of the court order determines child custody. Some couples obtain a legal separation as an alternative to a divorce, based on moral or religious objections to divorce.

Legal separation does not automatically lead to divorce. The couple might reconcile, in which case they do not have to do anything in order to continue their marriage. If the two do not reconcile, and they wish to proceed with a divorce, they must file for divorce.

Separation is a separation that is sanctioned by a court order, meaning that the spouses may legally live apart, but they are still legally married. The legitimacy of any future child born to the couple remains intact, and the spouses may not legally remarry. The separation allows the couple to live apart without concerns about being taken to court for “desertion.” (In some jurisdictions, provable “desertion” is legal grounds for a divorce.)

There are several reasons why a couple might seek separation. In some legal jurisdictions, if the spouses are already separated  for an extended period of time, the court may decide to grant a full and final divorce. When the requirements of burden of proof for a divorce are difficult to meet, in most jurisdictions, a ruling assures the couple a slot in the court’s schedule whenever they file for a full divorce, by showing that they were both serious about their separation.