What is legal separation?
A legal separation is a court order or written agreement describing the terms under which two married persons will abide while living apart and remaining married. Legal separation is a possible step towards divorce; in many states, in fact, a period of legal separation constitutes grounds for divorce.
A formal separation agreement also covers the same ground that a divorce settlement will (division of assets, child custody, support and visitation, etc.) and is therefore very important, because it also acts as a blueprint to the divorce agreement. In other words, the separation agreement will establish the ground rules: who gets the marital home, who pays support, and who gets custody, so it’s important to have the separation agreement go your way.