Enroll in an orientation course after the decree of legal separation is ordered (if you have children, you and your spouse will be required to enroll).

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If issues are not resolved in mediation, you will then appear in a contested hearing in front of the court to provide testimony and evidence against your spouse.

File your Decree (JDF 1116) after the 90th day after filing for legal separation, provided that all other documents are complete.

In particular, there are a number of specific financial concerns that can have a huge effect on a couple’s decision to remain separated without a getting divorced, whether they live apart or under the same roof.

In addition, if you are estranged from your spouse, and he or she relocates while you are separated, you may have a very difficult time finding them when you do decide that you want a divorce, perhaps in order to remarry.

For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of remaining legally separated for an extended length of time, contact an experienced family law attorney who has knowledge of the laws governing legally separations in your state.

Acquire the necessary forms to file a complaint requesting a legal separation.Serve the forms completed in Step 2 to your spouse if you are filing independently.A disinterested party over the age of 18 must serve the forms.Complete an Initial Status Conference (through the court) with your spouse to discuss your case, exchange forms and check the status of all submitted forms.If you and your spouse disagree on any aspects of the separation, you may then have to participate in a mediation through the court to resolve any issues.If you are filing independently, you will also need a Summons for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation (JDF 1102).