A legal separation is when a couple divides assets and lives separately, but they are technically still married in the eyes of the law. Legal separation is not the same as if you and your spouse decide on your own to split assets and live apart. There is a legal process you must undergo to achieve this status, and under it you and your spouse have definitive rights and obligations by law.
It is important to note, however, that couples that are legally separated cannot remarry unless they are actually divorced. It should also be noted that a legal separation is not quicker or easier to obtain than a divorce: the processes is essentially the same, but with a different outcome.
Couples may opt for legal separation instead of divorce for religious reasons, cultural beliefs, personal reasons, financial decisions, to retain spousal health insurance benefits, or for reasons relating to children. It is possible to rescind a legal separation and return to your previous living arrangement (i.e. reconciliation) or turn your legal separation into a legal divorce.
You can learn more about legal separation in Colorado by visiting the Colorado Judicial Branch.
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