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What is legal separation?

A legal separation is a court approved and enforced separation that shares many characteristics of legal divorce, although the marriage remains intact. Legal separation is more technical than a couple simply “separating” and requires the use of courts, attorneys, and official documents. During a legal separation, the spouses will no longer live together, and they must agree on a number of technical decisions. These include matters involving separation of assets and property, child support and custody, visitation rights, and division of debts. Legal separation is more serious than non-legal separation, and couples who file for legal separation usually do not have plans to reconcile.