Our Arizona Legal Separation Attorneys often discuss the difference between a Divorce and a Legal Separation. Often they are wanting to discuss which option is best for their particular situation. Generally speaking, both a divorce and a legal separation are similar; however, they do have some distinct and unique differences that should be understood.
A frequent point of conversation that we have is with people who really don’t want to get divorced because it seems like failure and finality. It is their belief that Legal Separation will suffice as a pseudo replacement for divorce. Plus, they feel it leaves the door open for the future and possible reconciliation. Some even want to use Legal Separation as a scare tactic to make their spouse know that they are serious with the hopes of changed behavior. Often, Legal Separation is not taken with the gravity it should.
Please know that Legal Separation is a major step. In a Legal Separation and in divorce, assets will be divided, child support orders will be entered, custody orders will be entered. Also, there may be an award of spousal maintenance (Alimony) when appropriate.