Could you kindly tell me what exactly is the difference between "splitting up with somebody" and "getting divorced"?

I think getting divorced is done officially and it needs you to sign some paper. However, splitting up with somebody is not like this. You just live separately from someone (that you have been married to) without officially separating from him/her.

Are my definitions correct?


I agree that "getting a divorce" is a formal process, equivalent to getting married, that involves paperwork and official registration. Splitting up, though, could also mean getting a divorce - it's a more general term for the dissolution of a relationship, which might be formal or informal.

Also, splitting up doesn't require you to be married first. You could just have been dating for a couple of weeks. You don't necessarily live together. It covers a wider range of relationship situations than getting a divorce. One of which, as you said, is breaking up a marriage without filing formal paperwork to that effect. It's a useful term. :)


Split up means to end a marriage or an emotional or working relationship:

I split up with my girlfriend a year ago.

On the other hand in a relationship, divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage and only happens after one is legally married. You could say that you have split up with your partner to mean that you are separated and no longer live together. This could also sometimes refer to a divorce.

Ref: Def. Oxford Dictionary


In marriage it really means the same thing relationship wise. Either way you are dissolving the relationship

  • 1
    No it doesn't. Divorcing means you cease to be legally married. Splitting up means that you are ceasing to live together as a married couple, but you are still legally married unless you also get divorced. When divorced, you are free to marry someone else. If you merely split up, neither of you is free actually to marry someone else. – TrevorD Jun 23 '13 at 23:14

protected by RegDwigнt Dec 9 '13 at 9:35

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