Legal separation is not the same thing as a divorce. In fact, in a legal separation, both spouses are still legally married for all intents and purposes and on all documents. The marriage license isn't revoked in a legal separation, even though spouses are considered to be separated. While legal separation may seem like a step behind divorce, it can be beneficial for some feuding spouses that still want to experience some of the benefits of marriage.
Those that file for legal separation can still benefit from their spouse's health insurance. This can be valuable, especially if one spouse in the marriage is not working and relies solely on the other spouse for healthcare. It is very important that you make sure that the healthcare benefits at your spouse's business will still include you after separation, as some plans may not cover separated spouses.
In addition to this, some individuals will file for legal separation instead of divorce in order to satisfy a religious conviction. Some religions frown on divorce, and legal separation is a way to abide by the religious laws while still effectively terminating relationship with a difficult spouse. Also, if you are considering divorce but first want to spend time apart from your husband to see how this works, then you may want to file for a legal separation for the time being. During this time alone, you and your spouse can determine whether or not you want to separate from each other permanently.
If you are a military spouse, then you can file for a legal separation until you and your spouse have been married for ten years. At this time, if you file for divorce you can take advantage of the benefits that are set up in the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. Sometimes, as a spouse you can benefit from various social security benefits if you are married for over 10 years, so you may want to separate and wait out this time period before filing. Contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney at Claery & Green if you want to learn more about legal separation and determine whether or not it is right for you!