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What is the difference between a Separation Agreement, Separation Petition, and a Separation Decree?

Flagstaff, AZ |

I recently applied to the Save Our Home AZ Assistance Program but they denied my request. Their reasoning was that my household income (including my spouse) was too high. I am required to include my spouses income unless I have a Separation Agreement 'recorded'. She has no interest or intent in the house and has already signed a Quit Claim Deed on it.

We have been separated for over two years with no formal agreement. I only found references to Separation Petitions and Decrees when I researched this. We do share legal and physical custody of our minor children in case that affects this.

What is my next step?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    A Petition for Legal Separation is where you file with the Court for a Legal Separation and ask that they grant your request. The Decree is the Court Order at the end of the case. This can either be by agreement or a judicial determination. If it is by Agreement, then the settlement agreement can be referenced as an attachment to the Consent Decree of Legal Separation. It is also possible to make a post-nuptial agreement without filing. As to what the program is actually requesting, you might want to request documentation from them in writing so you can determine your next step.

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS INTENDED AS GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, NOR IS IT INTENDED TO BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH, AND IS NOT INTENDED TO ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. IF YOU HAVE A LEGAL QUESTION, CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY.


  2. Keep in mind that Legal Separation is the same as Dissolution in terms of dividing all community assets, confirming sole and separate assets, establishing spousal maintenance, parenting time and child support. The main difference is that with a Decree of Legal Separation you cannot remarry.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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