Divorce and separation are both serious matters that can be emotionally draining and stressful for both parties. Whether you are considering ending your marriage or just separating from your partner, it is important to understand the differences between these two legal processes.
In the following article, our family lawyers in Melbourne will explain everything you need to know about divorce versus separation.

Divorce & Separation

First, let’s define what divorce and separation mean. Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage, while separation is when a couple decides to live apart without legally ending their marriage. In Australia, you can apply for a divorce if you have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months and there is no chance of reconciliation. On the other hand, separation can be informal and doesn’t require any legal paperwork.

One of the main differences between divorce and separation is that divorce is a final and permanent solution, while separation can be temporary or permanent. When you get a divorce, your marriage is legally terminated, and you are free to remarry if you wish to do so. On the other hand, a separation can be a trial period where couples can work on their issues and try to reconcile. However, it can be a way to separate assets and liabilities before filing for divorce.

Splitting the Assets & Liabilities

Another important difference between divorce and separation is the financial and legal implications. When you get a divorce, you will need to divide your assets and liabilities, including property, superannuation, and debts. You may also need to pay spousal maintenance or child support if you have children. On the other hand, separation doesn’t necessarily require you to divide your assets and liabilities, but you may still need to support your spouse and children if you have any.

Legal Paperwork & Attending Court

It is also worth noting that getting a divorce in some cases can be a complicated and time-consuming process. You will need to file a divorce application with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and in some cases attend a court hearing. This can take several months and may require the assistance of a family lawyer. In contrast, separation doesn’t require any legal paperwork or court hearings, but it is advisable to have a separation agreement in place to avoid future disputes.

How to Decide What’s the Right Option for You?

Now that we have discussed the differences between divorce and separation let’s talk about how to choose the right option for you. It is important to consider your personal circumstances and goals before making a decision. If you are certain that you want to end your marriage and move on with your life, then divorce may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you are unsure about your future and want to take some time to work on your relationship, then separation may be a better choice.

It is also important to seek legal advice from a family lawyer before making any decisions. These experts can provide you with expert guidance and support throughout the divorce or separation process. They can help you understand your legal rights and obligations, negotiate a fair settlement, and represent you in court if necessary.

Get Qualified Family Law Advice Straight from The Experts

In conclusion, divorce and separation are two legal processes that can be confusing and overwhelming. By understanding the differences between these two options, you can make an informed decision that is best for your personal circumstances.

At O’Sullivan legal, our family lawyers in Melbourne are here to make sure that you are fully supported right from the very beginning of your case.

If you need more advice regarding whether a divorce or separation is the best choice for you or if you have any further questions, contact us to book a consultation.

Author: Ben O’Sullivan