Legal separation is the process through which a judge orders that two spouses in a marriage or two partners in a civil union are required to live separately from one another. However, this DOES NOT mean the two spouses or partners have divorced or have had their civil union dissolved.
When two people are legally separated, one or both parties may request the following:
a temporary restraining order
a temporary eviction of your spouse or partner from your residence
a property settlement
Either party can file to get a divorce or dissolve a civil union while you are in the process of getting legal separated.
Additional things to know about legal separation:
In order to get a divorce or dissolve a civil union, both you and your spouse/partner must show proof that the two of you have been legally separated or have been living separately for at least six (6) months
Temporary fees, evictions, or restraining orders can be modified
Once ordered, a property settlement is final and CANNOT be modified
If you have retirement savings, you both will likely need to agree to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)