There are many reasons why a married couple may decide to legally separate and many often do without going the route of a legal separation. It may help to know what makes a legal separation different from simply living apart and what benefits it can offer. 

A legal separation is a separation done through a court process where the court will approve of and order the separation of a married couple. It is important to note that the couple will remain legally married throughout the ordered separation. A couple may opt to remain married but legally separate for financial reasons, such as retention of tax savings that come through filing as a married couple. It could be for religious reasons, when one’s faith does not support divorce. The availability of health insurance can be affected by separation versus divorce.

For couples who are not planning to resolve their differences, a legal separation can work in similar ways to a divorce. Child custody, support and visitation orders will be created, property rights will be determined and the divorce process is simplified, should the couple decide divorce is the right next move.

If you are struggling in your marriage and feel that a legal separation may be the right thing for you and your spouse, you could benefit from sitting down with a family law attorney to discuss setting this up. Your attorney may be able to provide valuable insight into how New York courts view separation agreements and aid in determining if this is truly the right decision for you and your spouse.