Can you change a legal separation into a divorce? How? 14 Answers as of August 28, 2015

My ex-husband and I were legally separated three years ago but now I want to remarry. Do I have to divorce my husband in order to do so? Will it be the exact same divorce process as if we were still married?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Unless you are willing to commit bigamy, you can't marry another person while you are still legally married to another. And you are. You can move to reopen the original case and amend the pleadings to seek a divorce. If your estranged husband takes a constructive attitude, he will cooperate and you can get divorced quite soon. Even if the judge will not grant a motion to reopen, you can still start a new case, and again with cooperation from the ex, you can be officially divorced in about 5 months. (Please note that in Wisconsin, you must wait 6 months after a divorce is granted before you can remarry, whether the new marriage is in this state, or anywhere else. Consult an experienced matrimonial lawyer. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 5/28/2015
Law Offices of Robert Burns
Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
Check with the Court to see if you can (a) file a Divorce Petition as one (substantially) amending the Legal Separation Petition or whether you instead must (b) dismiss the Legal Separation Petition and file a Divorce Petition. Either way, see if you can avoid a new filing fee or qualify for a waiver of the filing fee.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2015
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
It will be necessary for you to complete a divorce action to terminate your marital status. That should be a fairly simple procedure to accomplish but it still takes six months. Please meet with an experienced family law attorney to explore your legal options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2015
Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
You have to be divorced in order to remarry. ?The process is the same.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2015
John Russo | John Russo
That would be a yes and yes.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/28/2015
    GordenLaw, LLC
    GordenLaw, LLC | Vanessa J. Gorden
    You can file a Complaint to Modify your separation into a dissolution and it will cost less in filing fees and be smoother by virtue of the legal separation orders already entered. You will need to follow procedure and statutes related to divorce, including the 60 day waiting period for finalization and the 6 month waiting period to remarry following the Decree.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    You can file an amendment to convert the case to a divorce. A good paralegal can help you with this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
    You must have an attorney review your paperwork. Generally a Separation Agreement does NOT grant a divorce. That is a separate action.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    Since Pennsylvania does not recognize legal separation between spouses you either obtain your status while living in another state or you are mistaken about your present status. If you have been living in Pennsylvania you might think that you are legally separated, but you are still married. Consequently, any dissolution of your marriage would have to be through the granting of a divorce. If you acquired a legal separation in another state you should contact an attorney from that state to see if you can change the marriage from a legal separation to a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    You can move from a legal separation to a divorce with a motion asking the court to do so. Only that order needs to be obtained along with a decree of dissolution and findings of fact.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    If you are legally separated and now want to divorce it should be easy In the absence of minor children of the marriage you can try follow the separation agreement and it take as little as 60 days if your ex is agreeable.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    You need to file a motion to convert your legal separation to a divorce and enclose an order. You will then need to wait 6 months after the signing of the divorce order to remarry.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Diane l. Berger | Diane L. Berger
    Yes, you have to divorce your husband before you can remarry and yes, it would be the same process as if you were married.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/27/2015
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    Yes you still need to actually do the divorce. Depending on what was said in your separation agreement, you may be able to just use the terms in the separation agreement as the terms for your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/27/2015
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney