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Divorce and separation of the body: what differences?

Verified 06 May 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Differences between divorce and legal separation


Body Separation

Marriage duties (e.g. relief and assistance)

Disappearance of all obligations between former spouses.

Duties relating to marriage shall be maintained. The marriage is not dissolved.


Maintenance may be paid either during divorce proceedings or after divorce.

Maintenance may be paid either in the course of the separation procedure or after the separation.

Duty of cohabitation

End of the duty of cohabitation.

Authorization for spouses to reside separately.

Liquidation of the scheme

Liquidation of matrimonial regime.

Spouses married under a community plan will have to liquidate the matrimonial regime.

The regime of the spouses shall be that of the separation of property. For example, property purchased by one of the spouses during the separation of the body will be considered clean property and not as belonging to both spouses.

Retention of other spouse's customary name

Each of the spouses shall use his or her name, unless the former spouses agree, approved by the judgment, that one of them shall keep the name of the other in the name of use.

Each spouse shall retain the use of the other's name, unless the judge decides otherwise.


This results in the loss of the right to succession of his former spouse.

The husband who is separated from his body remains the heir of his husband. However, in the event of legal separation by mutual consent before the judge, the spouses may waive their inheritance rights in their agreement.


It is possible to remarry

Marriage is not dissolved, remarriage is impossible


It is possible to move

The marriage is not dissolved, a pact is impossible