Divorce and separation: what are the differences?

clip_image002In our article about divorce we explained the steps that one must go through to begin divorce proceedings, including filing for divorce, applying for a decree nisi and finally applying for a decree absolute, but what if you aren’t ready to divorce or are unable to do so?

For many couples, the end of a marriage can be a difficult and confusing time, and for some the idea of an abrupt and final end to their marriage can seem too binding. It could be that you’re not ready to make a final decision or even that your religion forbids divorce. In either case separation provides a realistic alternative.

An alternative to divorce is a separation agreement or a deed of separation, which sets out agreements between the spouses. These can include arrangements for custody, maintenance and visitation rights if you have children, and the division of your assets including your marital residence, mortgage and debts.

An agreement of separation does not go through the courts and there are no legal penalties for failing to follow the terms. It is in an informal agreement that is taken with good faith by both parties and provides some stability and peace of mind during what can be an unsettling time.

A separation agreement is usually channelled through a solicitor. This means that when both parties provide their financial accounts and document their assets, a fair impartial decision can be made and terms can be agreed upon. A decision is based upon the same terms as a divorce which you can read more about here.

A legal separation will give you some financial stability until the time comes that you decide to petition a divorce. It is important that with the help of your solicitor you come to terms that you are happy with, as your separation agreement can go some way to influencing the terms of your divorce should you decide to proceed with one in the future.

Click here to read more about divorce proceedings or call us on 01782 713755 to see how we can help.

Agree? Disagree? Do let Cooks Solicitors know what you think by commenting below.

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