There are two filing options when seeking to formally end a marriage, Dissolution (divorce) and Legal Separation1. These two filing options are the same except for that a legal separation does not terminate the marital status upon Judgment. Thus, parties entering a Judgment for Legal Separation cannot remarry unless they terminate their marital status with a Judgment for Dissolution.
The advantages commonly cited for legal separation are that spouses remain dependents and are therefore eligible to stay on a spouse’s employee health insurance plan. However, both legal separation and dissolution require full property disclosure and division, spousal support and child support orders (if applicable), and custody orders (if applicable).
Whether to file for a legal separation or dissolution of marriage, it should be discussed with an attorney.
1 Nullity may also be claimed in very narrow circumstances.