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Family Law

Judicial Separation

Judicial separation allows a couple to live separate lives without terminating their marriage or civil partnership. Our family solicitors can help you to decide whether a judicial separation is right for you. We can prepare and submit your application to the court and guide you through the process.

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What is judicial separation?

Judicial separation is a legal separation sanctioned by the court.

What is the difference between judicial separation and divorce?

Like divorce (or civil partnership dissolution), judicial separation enables the court to grant orders to divide a couple’s money and property and make arrangements for children.

However, the court does not have the power to split a pension as it does with divorce. The court also cannot grant a Clean Break Order because the couple are legally married. This means that a couple remains financially tied to each other, which can have long-term implications.

The process of separation is very similar to divorce proceedings, except it involves just one decree: A Deed of Judicial Separation, whereas a divorce has two decrees: a Conditional Order and a Final Order. Unlike a divorce, a couple does not need to be married for a year to legally separate. A Deed of Judicial Separation can be obtained at any time.

Since judicial separation does not end a marriage, a couple are not free to remarry.

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How is legal separation granted by the court?

The court grants legal separation on the same grounds as divorce.

The court grants legal separation without the party/parties stating that their relationship has irretrievably broken down. The party/ parties must simply state that they seek to be judicially separated from the other party to the marriage or civil partnership. This will allow the court to make an order.

What are the advantages of a judicial separation?

Being legally separated instead of divorced means a couple can continue to benefit from many of the practical and financial advantages of being married to each other while conducting separate lives. For example, if one spouse has a health insurance plan from their employer, their partner will not continue to benefit from it after they divorce. If they legally separate, however, those benefits will be retained.

Those who have moral or religious reasons to object to a divorce may choose judicial separation because it does not end their marriage or civil partnership under the law.

Some people apply for judicial separation because they have not been married or in a civil partnership for a year and therefore cannot yet divorce or dissolve their civil partnership. Others may not be ready to take the final step, and a judicial separation can provide breathing space to consider their options.

It is important to know that if there is provision for a spouse in a Will, this is nullified by legal separation, although a spouse may still be eligible for pension scheme benefits if their partner dies. A new will must be created for a spouse to continue to be a beneficiary.

Contact Davisons judicial separation solicitors

Davisons solicitors support couples who are considering judicial separation. We can help make separating easier by talking you through your options, helping you to make a plan and guide you through the steps.

Our solicitors are friendly and experienced, and we are here to answer your questions. We offer a Free Initial Assessment so you can talk to us about your situation free of charge and without obligation.

Have any questions or need any help?

Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in their field. Be confident in their advice and decisions to help get the right outcome for you. Contact us today to see how we can help