Essentially, there’s very little difference between a legal separation and a divorce. A decree of legal separation can be converted into a decree of dissolution of marriage six months after it’s been issued. You have to go through the same process of doing financial disclosures and exchanging financial documents. You have to go to court to have your agreement approved, or, reduce your agreement to writing. If both parties have an attorney, and there are minor children involved, you can get your agreement resolved simply by negotiation. The reason in the past why people wanted to do a legal separation is that they needed to stay married either for health insurance reasons or because they had religious concerns. Becoming divorced was against their religious beliefs. Other reasons why people wanted to stay married, but legally separated, really related to health insurance reasons.
For example, if you had a pretty profound preexisting condition, and would be unable to obtain health insurance on your own, then that’s a reason why you would want to stay married to your partner. Those reasons have pretty much fallen by the wayside now. We can represent you in a legal separation proceeding, but most legal separation proceedings do eventually get converted to a dissolution of marriage proceeding. Most people do ultimately elect to go ahead and get a divorce.