Yuma, AZ – While divorces and legal separations are similar, there are some important differences. A divorce is a permanent and legally binding end to the marriage that will allow the two spouses to remarry other people if they choose. A legal separation can either be finalized into a divorce or reversed so that the couple can return to living together and staying married if they choose to do so. 

Issues related to divorces versus separations

A divorce requires a number of formalities and ends the marriage entirely. When a couple goes through a divorce they must also divide their property, and deal with other issues related to child support and custody. Sometimes, this process can take years, especially if the couple was married for a long time or has a lot of shared assets, investments, and real property. The person cannot legally enter another marriage until this divorce has been completed. 

Some couples may have good reasons for being legally separated for a short time period, then either returning to their marriage or formally ending the marriage. Many simply want to test what their unmarried life will look and feel like. There are also certain beneficiary designations that will remain in place as long as the couple is separated rather than divorced. Sometimes, there are strategic financial reasons for keeping these benefits in place. The residency requirements for a separation are less strict than a divorce, so the couple may be able to get a legal separation, then divorce months later after the residency requirements are met.  

Concerns with the social stigma of a divorce are also an important reason why some couples stay married. A legal separation may be more beneficial for followers of certain religions and those who would rather not be divorced.  

Legal separation procedures

There are still some formalities and procedures that a couple must go through in order to get a legal separation. The person filing for the separation must have lived in Arizona for at least ninety days and state the formal grounds for the legal separation. An agreement that covers things like child custody and property division will still need to be made as well. The courts can get involved in this process if the couple does not agree. If the separation is granted and finalized, this is generally meant to be a temporary solution because the couple will either formally divorce or reconcile in the following months or years. 

Solutions to family law problems in Arizona

Schneider and Onofry are available to help people in the Yuma area with various issues related to divorce and family law. Clients can receive professional advice and representation throughout the course of their case.  

Firm contact info:

Schneider & Onofry, P.C.

207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364



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