In Minnesota, the concept of a "legal separation" exists to allow the parties to marriage to determine custody, parenting time, child support, property division and spousal maintenance in the absence of dissolving the marital relationship. Many seek to legally separate, instead of divorce, to keep insurance in place, or for religious reasons.

The state of Minnesota offers multiple options for adjusting marital status. Divorce may be the most common approach, but some couples prefer legal separation. Although similar to divorce in many respects, legal separation holds a few key distinctions worth taking into account, as outlined below.

Separation Versus Legal Separation

Separation and legal separation are not

Many potential clients ask about the difference between a legal separation and a divorce. It is important to consider the meaning of a “separation” and a “legal separation.” Most couples opt for mere separation, as opposed to a “legal” one.

“Separation” simply means living apart. You do not need to file court papers to separate.