“Legal separation” is when the court issues a legal and binding order regarding how a couple is to manage their assets during separation. The judgment allows the couple to live separately while still retaining the legal status of married.
Legal separation is for couples who decide they do not or cannot reside together as husband and wife but do not wish to end their marriage. Most often, couples choose legal separation if their religious beliefs prohibit divorce or when one spouse needs continued medical insurance provided through the other person’s insurance but many employers terminate health insurance benefits when there is a legal separation. Some couples enjoy the tax benefit from filing jointly or certain Social Security benefits.