Most people find that the best way to get a legal separation is to hire an attorney. However, you may file a legal separation as a self-represented party. A legal separation is started when a legal pleading called "complaint for legal separation" is filed with the Clerk of Courts Office, along with "instructions for service" and payment of the filing fee. A hearing date is scheduled after the defendant has been served properly with all the legal pleadings filed. A Final Decree of Legal Separation is not granted until the plaintiff (the person who files the complaint) has attended all of the hearings required by the court, and prepared all the necessary papers. At a minimum the person asking for the legal separation will have to appear at a hearing and give testimony under oath or affirmation, bring a witness who will also testify, and prepare and bring all the necessary paperwork to complete the case.
For information regarding the Eleven Grounds for filing a divorce, view the Citizen's Guide (PDF). To determine what documents need to be filed with your divorce complaint, see what Forms Are Required.
If you do not have an attorney, you may submit your documents to the Compliance Office for review.