Five FAQs on separation

 

How does separation differ from divorce?

Only those people who are married can actually get divorced. The concept of a common law marriage does not exist. Couples who are married can separate if they don’t want to dissolve their marriage. And anyone cohabiting can also separate. A family law solicitor can outline your legal rights if you do separate from your spouse or partner. Also, from the 6 April 2011, all separating couples will be required to take part in mediation.

Can I legally formalise my separation?

If you have shared assets or want to put in writing the terms of your separation, a family law solicitor can help you draw up a separation agreement. The terms of the agreement are not generally legally binding on all parties. However, if you subsequently wanted to get divorced, the court may take the terms of your separation agreement into consideration.

What about judicial separation?

Judicial separation is a form of separation where grounds for divorce have been proven, but you don’t want to officially divorce your spouse. Generally a judicial separation is more legally binding that an ordinary separation agreement. It is important that judicial separation agreements are written correctly, which is why you should always use the services of a family solicitor.

Can I move to a full divorce at any time after a separation agreement is signed?

Yes, as the separation agreement is only usually used as an interim measure before the full divorce process is started. Couples often use a separation agreement as a test before they decide on whether they still wish to stay married to each other. If you do decide to move to a divorce, the services of a divorce solicitor may be needed, especially if your spouse contests your petition.

How can a solicitor help with my separation?

Because the personal circumstances of each couple will be different, so will any separation agreement they want to write. As there can be a legal component to the agreement, the advice of a family law solicitor is vital. Couples often find that involving a solicitor clarifies many of the aspects of their separation, which can give each party piece of mind.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on separation, Caven can put you in touch with a local family solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local family solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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