How is legal separation different from divorce?

Edina, MN Family Law Attorney, Jane Van Valkenburg talks about the difference between legal separation and divorce.

Contact Jane Van Valkenburg

Phone: (952) 204-5237


At the end of a legal separation, basically we say we’re still married, but we’re separated. At the end of the divorce, we say there’s an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship and we’re divorced. Legal separation you can divide things up, but if you move to a divorce, that property settlement can be thrown out. So if in the separation I get these assets and you get those assets and you spend down all your assets and then we come back for a divorce, you can come back after my assets – so what I thought were my assets. I tell people legal separation, if you’re gonna do that, it’s really for religious reasons. That’s the best time to do it, and so it’s very rare that it does happen.