'Separation' and 'divorce' are different?


Senior Member
I am reading legal handbook.
there is 'divorce and separation proceedings'.

I think
divorce is general meaning of "break up"

seperation is
1) they just live seperatetly for a while.
2) in case of defacto marrige, when a couple divorces, it calls 'seperation' not 'divorce'

help me~
from jj
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    I'm not a lawyer, but a separation is not necessarily a divorce. A couple can be "separated" without being divorced.

    A divorce is the official dissolution of the marriage. In a separation, the couple live apart and a legal arrangement may establish their individual rights and responsibilities. It's a legally-arranged "pre-divorce."
    Separation can be a legal status or just an informal breaking-up.

    A legal separation costs the same as a divorce and entails all the same paperwork and custody hearings, etc. The only difference from divorce is, the couple is still officially married. This means the spouses continue to benefit from each other's insurance, etc. Also, some people choose separation because their religion does not allow divorce.


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    True, "separation" can be just living apart. However, the phrase "separation proceedings" suggests that this "separation" has specific legal aspects or related legal processes.


    New Member
    Thread necro - but I just wanted to clarify in case someone else stumbles on this like I did this morning.

    The terms differ greatly depending on your location. OP is from Sydney Australia.

    separation is
    1) they just live separately for a while.
    2) in case of de facto marriage, when a couple divorces, it calls 'separation' not 'divorce'

    help me~
    from jj
    In Australia, separation means 2 people that have gone their separate ways regardless of their relationship status. You can "separate" from someone you just met in Woolworths on your way to your cars.

    "Divorce and Separation proceedings" is just a way to loop in all relationships into the one statement regardless of how you classify the relationship (dating, defacto, married, series of one night stands, friends) etc.

    The law is very similar to New Zealand as NZFauna pointed out you need to have "Separated" for 12 months before you get "Divorced" however you can separate without ever being divorced (or being required to get one) if you were anything but married.

    The term "Separation proceedings" can also be used to describe financial separation, property settlement and the proceedings to work out children's living arrangements while the "divorce" is pending.

    This flowchart does a better job of explaining it than me waffling on.
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