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Divorce or Legal Separation? What is the difference? The main difference between divorce and legal separation is with a legal separation you remain married to your current spouse. This means if you are legally separated you cannot get remarried. However, you can still divide all assets and get similar orders regarding child support and spousal support in a legal separation case.

One of the main reasons parties file for legal separation instead of divorce is to allow the other spouse to remain on their health insurance. Because of the often high cost of COBRA insurance or a private plan, parties will negotiate a legal separation over a divorce to allow for a spouse who has insurance through an employer to remain a dependent beneficiary of the benefits. If you obtain a divorce many plans will not allow you to keep your ex-spouse on your plan even if you would like to do so.

However, it is helpful to keep in mind that after obtaining a judgment of legal separation you must file and restart the entire process if you later want to remarry or simply become a single person again under the law. This means that you will have to pay another filing fee and update all financial information and disclosures even if you already previously divided all assets in the legal separation proceedings.

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