What is legal separation? 

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Legal separation is when you stop living with your spouse but follow certain living arrangements per a voluntary, written agreement. If a spouse violates the agreement, family court can enforce it. 

Unlike a divorce, legal separation does not end your marriage.

Couples decide to legally separate instead of divorce for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:

They are unsure if they want to get divorced
They cannot afford to get divorced
Financial benefit, such as continued health insurance

It is important to note that legal separation is not just moving out of the home you share with your spouse. If you want to legally separate, you need a separation agreement.

How long does legal separation last?

You can be legally separated for however long you and your spouse think is best. However, if you plan to use your separation agreement as the basis for a divorce later, you and your spouse must have been living apart, under your separation agreement, for at least one year.