man and woman

Separation

Anybody is entitled to separate from their spouse or ‘partner’ but in the case of married couples this does not mean simply moving into separate bedrooms because they must maintain 'separate households' even if they are still living in the same house. They should record the date on which their separation commences because they may subsequently wish to file for a divorce based upon two years separation with consent.

Once a married couple has decided to separate but not yet divorce, their financial and other arrangements can be formalized in a

Deed of Separation. This can be especially useful where one or both party's religious beliefs preclude them from agreeing to a dissolution of their marriage.

A Separation Agreement is a contract between the parties but is not necessarily binding on the Court in the proceedings for a financial order in a subsequent divorce. If the Court can be shown that both parties had the benefit of independent legal advice and were fully aware of the other party’s financial circumstances, then the Court will normally ratify the Agreement and it can be embodied in a Court Order made by Consent. This Order will normally be made simultaneously with Decree Absolute, the final decree in the divorce.

For advice to co-habitants upon separation, please see our ‘Co-habitation’ page.

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