If you seek separate support, you are telling the Court that, for some reason, your spouse has deserted you and/or is not supporting you (and has no basis for doing so). At the time of filing, you may be living with your spouse, or not, but you have cause to live separately. You may also ask the Court for certain orders regarding health insurance, division of assets and freedom of restraint. There is neither a legal separation of the parties nor a termination of the marriage. To file for separate support, you must show one of the following: o That the Defendant is not providing suitable support, without justifiable cause; o That you have been deserted by the defendant; o That you are actually living apart from the defendant for a justifiable cause; or o That you have justifiable cause for living separate (yet may not, in fact, be living separately).
If you file for a Divorce, you are telling the Court that, for some reason, you no longer want to be married to your spouse. You often ask the Court for similar orders and remedies as in separate support action, perhaps first on a temporary basis but certainly on a permanent basis. However, in a divorce action, ultimately, every asset is divided, every issue is resolved and the marriage is legally terminated.