Legal Seperation- a legal separation does not end a marriage. A legal separation is for couples that do not want to get divorced but want to live apart and establish an agreement on financial responsibilities, property distribution, and parenting issues.
To obtain a legal separation, one party will file all required paperwork with the appropriate court, beginning with a petition (or complaint).
A legal separation is granted by a judge after the necessary paperwork has been submitted, any required waiting periods have lapsed and all appearances before the judge are completed. In some cases it is not necessary to be physically present in the court to get a legal separation.
A legal separation cannot be a contested action. If one party files for a divorce, then the legal separation action will be moved to the divorce action and not be granted.