How to Reverse Legal Separations in Arizona

Legal separations have their advantages over a full divorce. Emotion can be a powerful driver and once a divorce decree has been signed by a judge, your legal status as single cannot be reversed except through a new marriage.  Legal separations, however, can be reversed because the underlying marriage was not ever actually terminated.

Can a Legal Separation be Reversed?

In short, yes. This is one of the key advantages of a legal separation. In addition to tax credit benefits and you and your spouse still being able to share an insurance plan (in some cases), legal separations can be reversed in the event you both work matters out.

How do you Reverse a Legal Separation?

In Arizona, this is known as a reversal of legal separation. It’s a relatively straightforward process, but couples should be careful to follow it carefully and pay attention to details. If mistakes are made, the motion could well be rejected by a judge, costing you both time and money.

1. Find the Decree of Legal Separation

If you don’t already have a copy of this, you can get one by contacting the family court where you filed. In the event that the judge has yet to process your legal separation, you may be able to stop it in its tracks, negating the need for a reversal.

2. Create a Motion to Vacate Order

The next step is to create a Motion to Vacate Order of Legal Separation.  Both parties will need to consent to the Motion and sign it.

3. Include any detail beneath the caption

You should continue with your motion underneath the caption. Explain you no longer want to be legally separated from your spouse. Include details such as you haven’t yet filed for divorce and attach signatures from both yourself and your spouse.

4. Create an Order to Vacate Decree of Legal Separation

This section doesn’t need to be detailed. It simply needs space for the judge to sign and a brief description of what’s being requested above.

5. File the motion

This is the final step. File the motion with your family court clerk where you originally filed your separation, and deliver a copy, along with the proposed Order to the Judge on your case.  There may be a fee due to the Clerk at the time you file your Motion.

Seek Legal Advice if You Run into Difficulties

If you don’t understand the process for reversing a legal separation and are concerned you’ll waste your time and money trying, get in touch with a local family lawyer. They’ll be happy to guide you through your reversal of separation and help you achieve a full reversal.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Reverse Legal Separations, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Steven H. Everts at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.