Sometimes a couple does not want to get divorced, but wishes to live separately with married assets clearly defined and legal clarity on orders like child custody and support. This might be because their religious beliefs prevent them from getting a divorce or because they wish to keep the tax incentives of being married without having to participate in a marriage.
These goals are accomplished through a legal separation, which results in a set of orders similar in nature to a divorce decree. A legal separation also makes it slightly easier for the couple to reconcile if they choose to in the future, although couples do not have to be legally separated in order to have a “separated” relationship status. If the couple ultimately chooses to get divorced, having a legal separation in place makes that divorce much more simple.
Legal separation splits the marital assets and properties and decides issues such as who will have physical and legal custody of children and whether or not there will be spousal or child support.
If you aren’t sure whether a legal separation or divorce is best for your circumstance, a Howard County, Maryland family law attorney help talk you through the differences between the two.