What is a Legal Separation?
Many people ask what the difference between a legal separation and a divorce is. The main difference is that after a legal separation, you remain married. When you file a legal separation with the superior court in Washington state, you go through the same process as a divorce. This includes spousal support (alimony), division of property and debt, parenting plan, child support, attorney fees etc. The court may issue temporary orders pending agreement or trial. The difference is that at the end of the case, you are still legally married. After a legal separation order is entered by the court and six months have passed, either you or your spouse can file a motion and ask the court to convert the legal separation into a final divorce order.