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What is “Legal Separation”?

By February 14, 2012July 21st, 2023Divorce

In Missouri, there is a provision for a legal separation, which is seldom used. The procedure and result are nearly the same as in a divorce matter. However, no one may remarry if a legal separation is granted until it is turned into a divorce through an additional court proceeding. Just as in a divorce, all matters related to division of property, custody, and support are resolved. After 90 days, either party can ask the court to turn the legal separation into a divorce. Frequently clients who initially request a legal separation, believing there is a slight possibility of reconciliation, request a divorce by the time the process is completed. The exception seems to be cases where a legal separation preserves a spouse’s or stepchild’s right to receive health insurance coverage or where religious beliefs prohibit divorce. If you believe a legal separation may be right for your situation, it is important to discuss this with your attorney immediately.


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