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While the term divorce from bed and board may seem like it is a relic from past times, it’s actually the term New Jersey law uses to describe what many people might think of as a legal separation.

New Jersey does not recognize legal separation, but it does allow those asking for a divorce to ask for divorce from bed and board as opposed to from the bonds of matrimony.

What this means is that someone divorced from bed and board will remain legally married to her spouse and is thus not free to civilly marry again.

There are a number of reasons why New Jersey residents would want to consider a divorce from bed and board. Some may have religious reasons, for example, while others may just not be emotionally ready for a more conventional divorce. In still other cases, it may be to one’s financial advantage to remain legally married.

In just about every other respect, a divorce from bed and board works the same way as a more conventional divorce.

The reasons one can seek a divorce from bed and board are the same as are most of the other legal requirements. The only important difference is that after a divorce from bed and board, either spouse is free to ask for divorce from the bonds of matrimony.

Perhaps most importantly, someone seeking a divorce from bed and board will have to figure out how to divide up their property fairly and may have to decide an appropriate amount of alimony.

If he has children, he will also have to work out child custody, parenting time, child support and other matters.