A legal separation is essentially a legal division of the marital assets and financial independence from your spouse. Six months after the decree of legal separation is issued, either party has the option to convert the decree of legal separation into a decree of dissolution, also known as a divorce decree. We often see people wanting to divide their assets just as in a divorce proceeding, but will remain married for religious purposes or because the only reason for a separation is to legally shied one spouse from the other spouse’s creditors. A creditor can generally only collect from the non-creditor spouse for the other spouse’s necessities of life. This does not include business and gambling debt. The process of a legal separation is nearly the same as the process for a spouse wishing to be divorced.