What is the difference between separation and divorce?

There are several ways to proceed once you and your spouse decide to move forward with a marital dissolution.

Often we meet with clients to help them understand the difference between legal separation and divorce.  The laws are confusing and overwhelming to many clients, and we are here to help!

Here is what we often share with our clients about the difference between separating and divorcing:

When a couple decides to legally separate, they agree to spend time apart and explore different living arrangements. This is done with the hope of finding an opportunity for mediation and ultimately deciding whether to reconcile or get divorced.

A couple could also be separated but still live in the same home because of financial restraints or co-parenting needs; couples will live together as tenants.

Separation can be finalized with a written or oral agreement, with as many details as the couple feels they need to be based on if they want to have a formal separation, which involves the court approving the agreement.

You will also remain legally married and not available to remarry.

Once a divorce is finalized, the couple is no longer married, and both partners can remarry whenever they choose.

A legal divorce agreement is drafted that addresses financial division, marital property, child support and custody.

Separating before divorcing can benefit each person as it can solidify their need to divorce using the collaborative divorce model or marital mediation.

At Peace Talks, our co-mediation teams of attorneys and therapists craft a settlement that works for you and your family. 

Our divorce mediators work with you to explore options, get the information you need to make the right decisions and reach your own agreements, keeping you in ultimate control over your future.

If you would like to contact us to make a mediation or mediation orientation appointment or simply to ask a question, please call us at (310) 301-2100.

Note: This information is general and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax/mental health advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, mental health or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

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