Divorce vs. Legal Separation

In a dissolution of marriage (“divorce”), all issues are resolved as to the termination of the marriage, division of debts and property, child support, parenting plan, maintenance (“alimony”) and any other related issues. A legal separation resolves all of these issues with the exception of the termination of the marriage itself. When a decree of legal separation is entered, all issues are resolved except that the parties are still legally married. Legal separation is typically sought for two reasons: (1) religious convictions or (2) the need for continued medical insurance coverage. A decree of legal separation can be converted to a dissolution decree pursuant to statute.