Do I need an attorney for legal separation?
The law does not require you to live with your spouse. However, separating from your spouse may affect your legal rights. The best way is to talk to a lawyer before separating. To get a legal separation you must file a petition in your Superior or Family Division Court.
What does legal separation protect you from?
Most importantly, a legal separation agreement will protect you from being responsible for any debt your spouse acquires during the period of separation if you live in an equitable distribution state. If you live in a community property state, you don't get this protection under a legal separation agreement.
How long is a legal separation good for?
You and your spouse may remain legally separated for the rest of your life if you both choose to do so. Studies indicate that the overwhelming majority of married couples who legally separate get divorced within 3 years of their separation.
Is a legal separation public record?
You may not know that most court documents are public record (meaning the public can read it) unless there is a specific reason why they shouldn't be. This includes your divorce papers (and even your Separation Agreement, if filed).