A legal separation template is a form that sets out the rights and responsibilities between two spouses when they decide to stay married but live apart, explains FindLaw. It generally covers issues such as division of assets and liabilities, spousal and child support, custody and visitation.
A couple typically enters into a separation agreement and obtains a court order for legal separation based on that agreement, according to FindLaw. If the couple later decides to divorce, the court may use the separation agreement as a guide in ordering spousal support, child support and other issues.
How the court treats property and debt acquired during a separation period varies according to state law. For this reason, it is a good idea to consult an attorney regarding division of property and debt, as well as whether legal separation or divorce is more appropriate under the circumstances, recommends FindLaw.
Legal separations are much less common than divorce. If a couple enters into a legal separation and then decides to divorce, the parties go through two separate legal processes and their associated expenses, notes FindLaw. However, by entering into a separation agreement, couples can protect their legal rights while they work on making the decision whether to end the marriage.