Legal Services

Legal Separation vs. Divorce


What is the difference between simply separating from my spouse and a legal separation and a divorce?



  1. A “Separation” simply means that the two of you are now living apart. You do not need to file court documents in order to separate, but you should talk to an attorney about several important issues prior to moving out of the family residence:


  2. To obtain a “Legal Separation” you must file a petition with the Court. A legal separation is virtually identical to a divorce in terms of dividing all assets and debts, addressing all issues related to the children and awarding alimony where relevant. Unique to a legal separation are: the parties are still married and if they go back to living together then they have terminated the legal separation and they have renewed their marital status.



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One Executive Center
8500 Menaul NE, Suite B-550
Albuquerque, NM 87112
t: (505) 243-0900
f: (505) 243-5785
Email: channa@nmdivorce.com

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