A couple arguing in front of a mediator. The woman has her head turned away as the man speaks his mind.

What Does It Mean to Be Legally Separated?

Different Than Divorce

Legal separation is a term that is thrown around when people are deciding how to proceed with their marriage. Deciding whether or not legal separation is right for you, however, requires understanding what this method entails for your future. While legal separation is very similar to divorce in many ways, one key difference separates the two and can make the decision very clear.

The Key Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce

When determining whether legal separation or divorce is right for you, the key difference to consider is the state of the marriage after the process is completed. In a divorce, you and your spouse are no longer married; however, legal separation means that your marriage remains intact.

Legal separation works well for people who are unsure if a divorce is the best fit for them or want to try to work things out at some point. Since the marriage remains in place, a legal separation is more easily undone.

In addition, a legal separation is a good option for those who have religious beliefs about divorce or for those who want to live separately but continue reaping certain benefits of marriage, such as filing taxes jointly or keeping insurance plans in place.

Similarities Between Legal Separation and Divorce

Legal separation shares many similarities with divorce. The process has its differences but shares aspects such as parental visitation, child support, and potential spousal maintenance payments. The cost of pursuing a legal separation is similar due to the court costs and legal fees. In addition, the length of getting a legal separation can be similar to that of seeking a divorce.

Using the Help of a Minnesota Family Law Attorney

Regardless of whether you choose a legal separation or a divorce, having the right attorney by your side can make a difference in your case. Johnson / Turner Legal has worked with clients on both legal separation and divorce and can assist you in determining the best option for you and how to begin the process.


Contact our Minnesota family law attorneys today at (651) 371-9117 or visit our website to schedule a consultation.

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