Legal separation is very similar to dissolution. Legal separation must be ordered by a judge – a couple who has merely established separate households is not legally separated. Some people choose legal separation instead of divorce for religious reasons or because they no longer wish to live together as a married couple but wish to maintain legal benefits of marriage, such as insurance.
In a legal separation action, the court will address the same issues as it would in a dissolution; it will order a parenting plan, child support, and divide the debt and property. A legal separation decree does not mean the marriage is dissolved. Neither party can legally marry someone else unless the decree is converted to a decree of dissolution.
To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of legal separation, contact a Kirkland family law attorney.