Difference Between Separation and Divorce

After a marriage breakup, couples can choose different options to deal with the legal aspects that take place after the relationship, in order to make the most appropriate decision that allows them to adjust to their wishes and needs.

Many times the difference between separation and divorce is unknown, so people often get confused. In response to this premise, it is important to point out the differences between these two concepts in order to clarify possible doubts.


Separation is the dissolution of marriage that implies the suspension of the marriage bond and the cessation of life in common for both spouses, a fact that has implications and consequences both in terms of property and in the personal sphere.

The separation from the legal point of view can occur in two ways:

  • De facto separation, in which there is no judicial intervention but rather it is the decision of one or both spouses to cease living together.
  • The legal separation that occurs when there is judicial intervention that dictates a sentence.

In both cases mentioned, the separation has legal consequences that include the prohibition of linking legal, legal and economic rights and obligations between the spouses. The separation does not put an end to the marriage, that is, it does not dissolve the marriage bond and the spouses continue to be husband and wife, but it allows the suspension of life together and coexistence in the same space.

Both de facto separation and legal separation can be reversed when the couple is reconciled, which is why, in the first case, it is enough to start living together again and in the second case, the judge in charge of the separation must be notified. cause, the decision to continue under the marriage bond so that the decree of judicial separation remains without effect.


Divorce is the dissolution of marriage that implies the total cessation of the marriage bond by means of a judicial opinion. The dissolution of marriage by divorce is final, which means that the divorce cannot be reversed once it has been decreed. Therefore, if the couple decides to rejoin, they can do so but they would no longer be married and will have to remarry.

Divorce can be requested by only one of the spouses, by both spouses, or by one spouse with the consent of the other. In all cases, the divorce follows a process that includes de facto separation, judicial separation, property separation and the signing of the sentence, either by mutual agreement or by judicial decision. After the divorce, certain opinions can be established in economic matters such as family pension, payments for child support, guardianship and custody of children and visitation regimes when necessary.

In view of these approaches, it can be said that the main differences between separation and divorce are:

  • The separation is temporary, it can be reversed voluntarily with or without notification to the judge handling the case while the divorce is final, once the divorce decree has been issued it cannot be reversed.
  • When there is a separation, people cannot remarry with each other or with other people because the marriage bond remains in force, while after divorce people can remarry with each other or with other people because the marriage bond is totally dissolved.
  • Separation is the suspension of the marriage bond while divorce is the dissolution of the marriage bond.

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