They say love is a force that moves the world. And the truth is, it is one of the most powerful emotions, able to make us unite our lives and our path to those of another person.
But sometimes love stops too. A couple may not be able to resolve incompatibilities in character or vital goals, infidelities may arise and these may not be forgiven or simply that the flame of love that bound the couple ends up being extinguished or turn into something totally different from how our partner made us feel.
In many of these cases, the components of the couple may decide that it might be better to break off the relationship or let it sit for a while, either to reflect or to resume their own path. This rupture can take several names, the best known being those of separation or divorce. But even though we sometimes talk about it indiscriminately, the truth is that we are dealing with two terms that are not synonymous. Throughout this article we will already make a brief definition of each of them. see the differences between separation and divorce.
Separation and divorce: basic definition
Separation and divorce are two terms widely known to the majority of the population, often being deeply connected to each other. However, we are not dealing with synonymous concepts, each of them referring to a different reality.
By separation we mean the process by which the end or the cessation of the couple’s life takes place, being the product of a decision on the part of the two components (separation in fact) or by judicial way.
While separation implies that each member of a couple he will continue to live his life independently (Having to agree on the custody and care of the offspring, aspects related to housing or sharing of property, cancellation of the economic matrimonial regime) does not in itself imply the dissolution of the couple at the legal level , following in practice the two married subjects.
Separation involves a situation in which the couple can move on to reconciliation or divorce, usually being a period in which their members come to decide whether to try to return or end their relationship.
In divorce matters, the process by which the members of the couple completely terminate their marital union is known as such, so that it ends the marriage and once the process is complete, they cease to be married. While in the past it was necessary for both spouses to accept this agreement, at present only one of them requires it and does not require the agreement of the other to end their relationship. legal relationship.
However, it will be necessary to establish, either by mutual agreement or by a court, aspects such as the custody, custody and maintenance of children, the access regime for those who do not have it. custody or distribution of property in case of maintaining a profit. diet.
In practice, the two concepts have many aspects in common: Generally in both cases, there is dissolution of a relationship, as well as the termination of the regime of division of goods and benefits, the elimination of powers such as the possibility of inheritance or donation and the respect of rights and taking different types of measures concerning the custody, maintenance and care of children and dependents.
In fact, historically they have been so linked that in Spain, until 2005, in order to be able to divorce, it was necessary to have been separated. But as can be deduced from their descriptions, there are differences that differentiate them from each other.
Differences between separation and divorce
Separation and divorce, although, as we have said, are two concepts that still have a lot in common, essentially refer to different processes that they have elements that make it possible to distinguish. In this sense, the main differences between divorce and separation are as follows, although the latter has more to do with the colloquial use of the term than with the concept itself.
1. End of marriage
The main and most notorious difference between separation and divorce concerns the type of bond that this rupture implies.
While in separation we refer only to the termination of cohabitation and living together (having if it is through the courts legal effects on property, custody of children, pets and people in charge and the possibility of inheritance) without therefore the two subjects ceasing to be married. , in the event of divorce, the conjugal union ceases completely, Let the two subjects be legally united with all that this implies.
A second difference between separation and divorce is the reversibility of the process. Divorce involves a completely irreversible dissolution of marriage and everything in the event of reconciliation, being the only legal alternative to that of remarrying. Separation, on the other hand, does not extinguish the marital bond, So that in the event of reconciliation the couple remains legally united and can restore the previous rights and legal status before their separation after notifying the judge.
Another difference, directly derived from the previous one, is the possibility of remarrying with another person. In the event of divorce, the legal bond that binds people together is dissolved and they can remarry with other people if they wish. However, when we speak of separation, there has been no disengagement between the wives, so that they remain legally married and they cannot remarry (otherwise they would commit bigamy).
4. One does not necessarily imply the other
While this might sound odd and usually when a divorce occurs separation also goes hand in hand, the truth is that one thing does not necessarily imply the other: it is possible for a couple to separate (even legally) without divorce. For example because they still don’t know whether to reconcile or divorceBesides the less common fact that even if the couple divorces legally, they can in practice continue to live together without separation (beyond the legal separation and the termination of the rights of the conjugal union).
Another difference is that there is the possibility of resorting to the procedure in question. And it is that even if today in most countries it is possible to divorce, there are still countries where divorce is not legal, such as the Philippines and the Vatican. In these places, separation is the only possible option for couples who no longer want to continue together, Must be in addition a separation in fact.
6. Difference in use of the term: existence or not of legal effects
A possible difference between separation and divorce comes from the familiar use of the first of the terms, without actually being a difference if we are talking about a legal separation.
And when we talk about separation in many cases, we are talking about a de facto separation, in which both people agree to stop looking indefinitely. without any judicial intervention and in which he would not have to have a legal assignment.
This would be a difference with the term divorce, in which we always talk about the breaking of a marital bond in which there are legal effects. However, there is also separation as a judicial process, in which legal institutions would intervene and which would have legal effect applicable to aspects such as ownership and custody of children. Thus, this difference is only such in the more generic concept in which the term separation is used.