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Coping with a breakup is never a pleasant situation, and it is often painful: it is a challenging time that emotionally affects both parts and children if there are any. That is why it is so important to know what options exist so that the situation can be solved as soon as possible, and, in a way, that is satisfactory for both parties involved. One of the first things that we must have clear is that a separation is not the same as a divorce, and that there are diverse ways to solve this legal issue.

Legal separation is the process that is requested from a judge, who, through a sentence, puts an end to coexistence, but the marriage is maintained by separating the assets of both parts. When there is a marriage bond, the situation is undoubtedly more complex than when there is no formal link.

In most cases, it is regarded as a procedure prior to a divorce, since judicial separation is requested and once the requirements of the divorce are fulfilled a demand of this type is initiated. The main difference between a divorce and a separation is that there is no official document that can be signed stating you are separated and no longer living as a couple, for those cases a divorce procedure is needed. Some couples prefer to separate from each other and live together while they recover their financial independency, this is option is usually called “separation under the one roof.”

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For people who request a divorce after 12 months living separated under the same roof, there may be some information required as evidence by the court before they get to grant your Application for Divorce.

These evidence you may need to present to the court if you want them to approve your Divorce Application may include:

  • Proof that you both have separate bank accounts, so the court knows you are financially independent from each other.
  • Witnesses that can state you have been separated, these can be friends, family members and even employers or neighbours.
  • Proof that you are living in separate bedrooms.

There are other types of evidence that may be requested by the judge, it will all depend on your case specifications.


Depending on how it is requested and the position of the spouses in it, the legal separation can be:


You can request it from the judge or jointly with your partner by agreement if 3 months have passed since the marriage was celebrated and must always be accompanied by a proposal for a regulatory agreement that the lawyer will present.

Two situations can occur on a separation with agreement:

  • When there are underage children with disabilities, in which case the competence to approve the separation and the regulatory agreement corresponds to the judge.
  • When there are no underage children or disabled children who depend on their parents.


If you do not reach an agreement with your partner and you want to separate, you can ask the judge for legal separation if 3 months have passed since the marriage was celebrated, or before that date, if there is a risk to life or integrity. This includes any type of physical aggression, limited freedom or sexual violence as well as children being at risk.

It is already a lawsuit with your spouse that is always the exclusive competence of a judge in which you must accompany a proposal of measures that regulate family life.


  • Reaching a settlement with your partner

    There are many aspects that need to be considered to try to reach a settlement with your partner. Amongst the most common approaches included in the possible ways to reach a settlement there are:

    • Mediation
    • Collaborative Law
    • Litigation, also known as family court proceedings
    • Negotiations

    For many cases, the most effective option is to work on a combination of these approaches and reach the most suitable solution.

  • Child support after a separation

    The amount required for child support payments can be determined by the Child Support Agency. These agencies provide an assessment of how much child support will be based on your income and the other parent’s income as well. Other factors taken into consideration by these assessments are your children’s age and how much time they spend with each parent.

  • What happens to properties and possessions when you move out after a separation?

    If you go through a separation and decide to leave the house you should take your personal belongings such as clothing. It is always recommendable to try to reach an agreement with the other party if you want to take other items that cannot be considered yours.


A separation effectively supports a situation of reconciliation with your partner. If you decide to reconcile, the judge, after receiving a notification of the reconciliation, will leave without effect what was agreed in the sentence. In the cases of an intervention of a lawyer of Justice Administration or Notary, you must also communicate the reconciliation so that it is manifest and issue an act of demonstrations or a public deed. There are two exceptions:

  • By judicial resolution, the measures adopted in relation to the children will be maintained or modified, when there is a cause that justifies it. That the property separation agreement that was agreed upon between the spouses is not be modified by reconciliation. You will not be able to return to the previous economic regime, if for example, there was a shared business.

  • When there are no underage children or disabled children who depend on their parents.

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