Divorce and Legal Separation are two legal matters for two married couples. However, the former gets more mileage. Society seems to be more knowledgeable about divorce probably because it has been portrayed in mainstream media oftentimes, and also its nature where there’s finality in its decision.

Legal Separation, on the other hand, confuses some people as the same as divorce. We’re here to clear out a few differences (and similarities) between the too.

Again, to refresh you about their true definition: a divorce legally terminates a marriage, while in a legal separation, the couple remains married. Both fall under the same statute, and as a result, they have a lot of likenesses but there are some distinct differences that separate the two.

Similarities Of Legal Separation and Divorce


Both divorce and legal separation have the same process in the filing. They both require the same fees, and the duration of the whole process is the same.

Legal separations and divorces are awarded the same relief by the Court. That means the division of everything for both parties:
1. Assets and debts
2. Alimony
3. (In some cases) child support, a parenting plan, and other types of miscellaneous orders, such as protection orders.
4. Name changes
5. Attorney fee awards
6. Finality

This is virtually the same for the two alternatives. They require the same filing fees and take the same length of time.

Differences Of Legal Separation and Divorce

Ability to Remarry
Now, this is the most glaring difference between the two. Divorced parties can remarry. Legally separated spouses cannot, because simply they remain married to each other.

Although it is important to note that legal separation can be converted into a divorce after a waiting period.

90-Day Cooling Off Period
The State of Washington requires both parties to wait for 90 days as a way to ‘cool off’ before courts can grant an agreed divorce decree. This is not the same as legal separation.

Since legally separated spouses are still married, they remain within each other’s employer-sponsored health insurance coverage.

It is important to also emphasize that is one’s right to convert the legal separation into a divorce. The conversion process is remarkably simple, involves no filing fee, and takes approximately two weeks.

For more information on starting a divorce, click the following link:


7 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS When Starting A Divorce Process in Washington


Being educated better on his or her rights is great. Soriano Law LLC continues to help clients amidst the COVID-19 crisis. We are in Montesano (Grays Harbor County), but we also serve clients in Thurston County, Pacific County, Lewis County, Mason County, and Pierce County. You may reach out to us via phone at (360) 249-6174 and (360) 742-2817. You may also send an email at ron@sorianolawllc.com or via Facebook / Twitter at @SorianoLawLLC