Legal separation: better for some Maryland couples?

Legal separation can be a valid method for couples who are wrestling with the decision of whether or not to file for divorce. Sometimes it gives a much needed cooling-off period for people to work on their marital issues without actually rushing into divorce. Unfortunately as some Maryland couples know, as helpful as legal separation can be, not all couples will be able to work out their problems and save their marriage.

That appears to be the case for a celebrity couple featured on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Dr. Paul Nassif originally filed for a separation from his reality star wife Adrienne Maloof back in July. A month later, however, Nassif has apparently decided the marriage can't be salvaged. The doctor, who has also appeared on "Dr. 90210," filed for divorce a day after the death of his father.

He stated on Twitter that he and his estranged wife had tried very hard to work out their differences, and that he was going through a difficult time after having lost his father. His divorce petition cites irreconcilable differences as the reason for the break-up of their marriage. It also requests joint custody of the couple's three children.

Divorce can be especially hard to go through when one is a well-known figure, as the two people in this case. However, it can certainly be tough on the average Maryland couple as well. Considering the turmoil that can result, it may be worth taking a page from the book of this famous couple and trying legal separation as a strategy for working out differences before actually filing for divorce.

Source: WFIE-TV, "Real Housewives star files for divorce one day after father's death," Kate Stanhope, Aug. 30, 2012