Legal Separation Instead of a Divorce
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

Why Would You Get a Legal Separation Instead of a Divorce?

A legal separation happens when a married couple makes the legal decision to live individual lives, typically while thinking about or getting ready for divorce. There are a lot of reasons that a couple may opt for a legal separation rather than divorce, consisting of religious beliefs, tax matters, or other financial purposes. Seeking a legal separation is more than just informally living apart. In a lot of ways, legal separation imitates divorce, but there are a lot of important facets in which the 2 kinds of legal relationships are different.

What Happens Throughout a Legal Separation?

In a lot of ways, a legal separation is similar to a divorce. Couples that are separating typically need to split the assets that they acquired during the marriage. They are also required to make decisions concerning custody agreements if there are child(ren) from the marriage, and there could be child(ren) and/ or spousal support issues to determine. In a legal separation, a couple can present these issues to the court if they need to. In a lot of cases, the court will use the same type of examination in a legal separation to make these decisions than they would in a divorce.

Divorce v. Legal Separation

A divorce puts an end to marriage; however, a legal separation doesn’t end the marriage. Therefore, neither one can legally remarry if there are just a legal separation and no divorce. An additional disparity is that when you go through a divorce, then change your mind, you are required to remarry your spouse in order to be thought of as married again. Nevertheless, with a legal separation, the couple can simply be thought of as married again by submitting a petition to the court.

When a legally separated couple eventually makes the decision that they wish to get divorced, because they’re legally separated will typically make the divorce process a lot easier. As a lot of the bigger issues have usually already been decided through the separation process, the divorce could be more of a protocol in those types of cases than in cases where couples started the dissolution process at the divorce point.

Why Choose Legal Separation?

Couples can choose legal separation rather than divorce for several different reasons. One significant reason is one or both members of the couple are a part of a religion that prohibits or looks negatively upon divorce. Legal separation enables the parties to go on with their lives independently without infringing on their religious beliefs. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, it’s illegal to remarry when you’re legally separated.

An additional reason that a couple may decide on legal separation is that they’re just not sure if they really want to get a divorce. Legal separation is different than a trial separation, whereas a couple just lives separately without legally altering their standing. Nevertheless, a legal separation necessitates the couple in making decisions about the same issues they are required to in a divorce, such as custody and division of assets. Despite that, they may get back together a lot more easy, and become “married” again if they have a change of heart concerning the separation.

Finally, a lot of couples may choose legal separation instead of divorce for financial reasons. Many people might be able to stay on their spouse’s health insurance if they’re legally separated rather than divorce. There could also be additional financial benefits to a legal separation over a divorce. An experienced divorce attorney may assist you in figuring out whether legal separation or divorce is right under your circumstances.


  1. Legal Separation.” Justia, 28 Mar. 2019,

Speak with Our Legal Separation Lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona Today

Ogborne Law can help with a legal separation in Arizona. Our legal separation lawyers have many years of experience in drafting separation agreements. Our law office is located at 5020 E Shea Blvd Suite 240, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 inside the Paradise Valley Plaza.

While the legal separation process is not for everyone, it can save you money, stress, and hassle vs getting a litigated divorce. Speak with our legal separation lawyers in Phoenix, AZ to find out if legal separation is right for your family.

If you’re ready to start your consultation with Ogborne Law, visit our Consultation request page.

Contact Ogborne Law today and let us show you how we can help protect your kids and your family.

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