Legal separation Vs. Divorce

Legal separation Vs. Divorce

June 5, 2018

A legal separation and a divorce might be used in the same context, but the legal definitions are very different.


A separation is when yourself and your partner decide that you want to stop living together as a couple. This does not however mean that either of you must move out of the residence, it just means that the relationship under which you live together is no longer romantically involved.

If you and your spouse are separated you are still legally married, but no longer considered a couple.

To start the process of legal separation you need to inform Centrelink, Medicare, child support, if applicant, and any other organisations that are necessary.


A divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage by the courts. The courts will also look at how the couple divides the custody of their children (if applicable) their assets, property and in some cases debt.

The next step

Whether you are separated or divorced if children are involved you will need to organise child visitation and child support. If the couple are unable to come to an amicable agreement, a mediator or a lawyer will need to be appointed.

Despite popular belief, you do not need to be divorced to start dividing your assets. If you share an apartment or home, it makes sense to sell, or buy the other person out, so you can both move on and start to become financially independent.

How to move from a separation to a divorce

Should you no longer want to be married you will need to file for divorce, but firstly you must be legally separated for 12 months.

Once you have been separated for 12 months you can apply to the courts for a divorce, however if you have been married for less than two years you will need to apply for a counselling certificate.

We advise mediation as a means to settle your divorce, and Radich Lawyers on the Gold Coast are qualified mediators, this will save you time and money on costly court fees. However, should you not be able to come to an agreement the matter will be taken to court.

If you’ve decided to take the steps to legally separate or divorce, and you need some advice, please do not hesitate to contact the experts at Radich Lawyers on the Gold Coast. We handle all matters with the respect and sensitivity you deserve.