Divorce and legal separation are similar, however, there are several key differences that may make it convenient for two individuals who do not wish to live together to choose one over the other. The financial implications of a divorce procedure and the fact that is it mandatorily to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably can be two reasons why spouses remain with their partners even if they would both wish to move on.
Working with a team of separation solicitors, like our dedicated specialists, can prove a suitable option if you do not wish to continue to live together and sort issues related to financial assets as well as the custody of children.
Our separation solicitors answer some common questions about this procedure and can assist you throughout the steps required to formally announce the decision in Court.
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When can you apply for separation?
Legal separation is an option for those couples who wish to end their relationship, however, are not prepared to get a divorce or have other reasons why they wish to avoid this formal step.
A former couple can apply for separation in the UK:
- The marriage has less than one year: divorce cannot take place when the marriage is less than a year old, however, separation is an option in this case;
- For religious reasons: if one’s religion or personal beliefs prevent them from getting a divorce, separation is permitted and should pose no problems;
- You need time to decide: when one of both of you are unsure if ending the marriage is the right choice, the separation allows you to live apart and take the time to decide as you see fit;
- You wish to stay for the children: if the parents decide that they wish to delay their formal separation through a divorce until the children are 18 years old, they can speak to our separation solicitors.
While any of these reasons, as well as other personal ones, may apply in case of separation, it is important to remember that legal separation does not formally end the marriage or the civil partnership. You cannot remarry without a divorce.
If separation is not an option in your case, you can discuss your situation with our divorce lawyer in London. We offer personalized services and assistance throughout all the divorce phases and will guide you accordingly. A divorce is the only step that will officially end your marriage, as opposed to separation, which will only allow you to live out separate lives. You can reach out to us for more information and advice.
What are the reasons for legal separation?
The grounds for legal separation are the same as for divorce, however, an important difference is that the former couple does not need to bring forward proof that the marriage has broken down.
If you need assistance in formulating the decision for the judicial separation, talking to our separation solicitors can be helpful. The grounds for divorce, which are completely acceptable for separation are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, and desertion.
What are the main issues to consider when applying for legal separation?
The Court can still exercise the power to divide the former couple’s financial assets in a legal separation, however, in this case, the powers of the Court will not apply to pensions.
The separation agreement will also cover the arrangements necessary for couples who have children. Like in the case of divorce, the parents will need to decide on how they will look after the children, where they will live, and how they will share child maintenance. Our separation solicitors can help you draft this agreement and negotiate, as necessary.
The fee for legal separation is £365, however, we advise you to ask our solicitors for updated information.
How can a team of separation solicitors help?
Applying for legal separation is a simpler procedure compared to a divorce, however, specialized assistance is welcomed in many cases and it can greatly simplify the procedure, saving you the needed time to focus on your personal matters.
Our team of separation solicitors can help you fill in the petition for judicial separation and send the 3 required copies to the divorce centre, along with the other required documents. Finding the right divorce centre managed by the HM Courts & Tribunals Service is also a step with which our team can assist, based on where you live in the UK.
We can also help you solve any issues concerning the distribution of assets after the separation and child arrangements. When needed and where applicable, our separation solicitors can provide information on getting help with the fees if you have a low income or are on benefits.
According to official statistics, in 2016 there were 18.9 million families in the UK. Out of these:
- 7 million were married or civil partner couple families;
- the number of cohabiting families was increasing significantly, with 3.3 million in 2016 (more than doubling from 1.5 million families in 1996).
Contact our separation solicitors if you are considering ending your marriage or civil partnership and are looking for an alternative to divorce.