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What is a legal separation?

A legal separation is a court order that states who gets the children, who pays support for the children, whether spousal support is ordered, and who gets what property. You might want a legal separation if your religious beliefs prohibit divorce, if you or your spouse have not lived in Wisconsin long enough to file for divorce, or if one of you needs to be covered by the other’s medical insurance. A legal separation costs about the same as a divorce. Filing for legal separation does not prevent a divorce from being filed. The main difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that you are still married after a legal separation. Therefore, you still have the right to inherit property from your spouse if you are legally separated. If you are divorced, you lose that right.