What is the difference between separation and divorce?
The big difference between separation and divorce is that if you choose to be separated and not divorced, your marital status will continue to reflect that you are married and as such, you cannot remarry another person in the future.
Divorce is the process where you apply to end your marriage with your ex partner.
Separation does not require a legal process nor do you need to sign any documentation. Separation is the act of ending a marriage or a de facto relationship such that two people no longer live together as a couple. Separation may be initiated by one or both parties. You can also be separated under the same roof.
The only requirement for separation to occur is that you communicate your intention to separate with your ex-partner and then act on that intention. For example, by moving to a separate bedroom or by leaving the matrimonial home. There is no requirement to register your separation, however, you may need to inform agencies such as medicare or centrelink.
If you are unsure of your separation date, click the link: What is my separation date?
You can apply for a divorce as soon as you have been separated and you have lived separately and apart for 12 months. For more information on the requirements before you can apply for a divorce and other commonly asked divorce questions, get in touch with an experienced consent order lawyer from Barton Family Lawyers.
It is a common misconception that you cannot do a financial separation until you apply for divorce. In actuality, you can start the ball rolling to split your assets with your ex-partner as soon as you separate. You should obtain legal advice from one of our experienced Brisbane Family Lawyers about this process, proactively rather than reactively, to ensure that you make smart decisions after separation that will save you money and emotional stress.
When you are divorced, this legally separates you from your former partner. The date of your divorce is important as you have 12 months from the date of your divorce in order to reach an agreement and legally formalise your property settlement or otherwise, to bring an application for property settlement.
For more information on time limits for property settlements, click the links:
What about debts and liabilities following separation?
When you separate, you and your ex-partner continue to be legally responsible for the debts you have jointly or in your respective names. In order to decide how those debts are ultimately split between you and your former partner, you need to engage in a property settlement process. It is important that you seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer before negotiating with your ex-partner about the split of assets. We recommend that you legally formalise your agreement regarding the division of your assets.
There are several benefits to making your agreement about the division of your assets legally binding.
For more information on this topic and to answer your frequently asked questions, click the following links:
- Fixed Fee property settlement;
- Why you should formalise your property settlement
- How to formalise a property settlement or parenting agreement
I want more information
You can click the following links to check out our family law information videos:
- What to do and what what not to do when you separate.
- How to formalise a property settlement agreement
- When is my separation date?
- Time Limits on property settlement
- How a court determines property settlement entitlements
- Leaving a relationship with no money;
You can also check out the following useful articles for more separation advice:
- Separation advice: Things to do before separation
- What to do and what not to do before you separate.
- Hiding assets in a divorce : How do I uncover them?
- Injunction to stop my ex selling assets
- My ex is selling assets, what can I do?
- Protect your assets and family post separation.
Seek prompt legal advice about your separation
We hope this has helped you better understand the difference between separation and divorce. If you are considering separation or divorce, it is important that you obtain prompt legal advice from an experienced family lawyer about your individual circumstances. By being proactive and obtaining advice prior to or at the time of separation, we can give you invaluable advice so that you can make smart decisions post separation, which minimise your emotional and financial stress.
Contact us online or call 3465 9332 to book a reduced rate initial consultation with one of our experienced Brisbane Family Lawyers and we will provide you with advice and a plan to get you from where you are to where you want to be as quickly and cost effectively as possible.