How do I get a legal separation and how much does it cost?
2 attorney answers
The benefits to a legal separation are that the parties remained married. This means that a spouse may stay on the insurance of the insured spouse, and both spouses maintain the legal relationship in the event of death or disability of the other spouse. The parties may decide the reconcile their marriage and they are not restricted from cohabitation as they would be if they filed a complaint for divorce. Also, if the couples decide to remain married, they can do so without having to remarry.
Legal Separation is not widely used. You can read the language of the statute in TCA 36-4-102. It basically keeps you married for 2 years and then you are divorced. Most people that use the statute do so for health insurance reasons or because they have a high school aged child and want to live separately. If you want to get divorced before the 2 years are up, you can still file for divorce (paying an additional fee) and avoid waiting 2 years. If you think you want to get divorced, filing for Legal Separation first is an added expense.