Legal Separation - Oxfordshire, Warwickshire & Cotswolds

What to do if you are considering legal separation

Couples who decide to separate do not necessarily proceed with a divorce.  However, they can formalise their separation with a Separation Agreement or go through the courts in a similar way as they would for a divorce, but instead obtain a Judicial Separation.

Cotswold Family Law can provide expert help and advice and complete the legal process.  Here, we provide a simple explanation of the agreements available when considering a separation.

separation & divorce cotswolds oxfordshire warwickshireJudicial Separation

A Judicial Separation is mainly used when people do not wish to divorce for religious reasons, financial reasons, or because they have not yet been married for a full year.  If a couple apply for Judicial Separation they can apply for the same financial orders as if they divorced, other than if they are applying for a clean break order or a pension sharing order.

Applying for a Judicial Separation involves virtually the same procedure as applying for a divorce.  The main difference is that there is no need to prove or express that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Separation Agreement

A Separation Agreement is an agreement regarding the division of a couple's assets and possessions, both at the time of separation and for the future. It can also include household expenditure, maintenance and the arrangements relating to any children.

This agreement is not a court order and the court is not involved in its preparation.  It is comparable to a gentleman's agreement and, although it shows a strong indication of the couple's intentions when they separated, there are no immediate penalties for failing to comply with it.

Couples usually respect these agreements and, if they eventually divorce, their agreement can then become an agreed court order called a Consent Order.

Entering into such agreements involves quite a detailed process.  Each party must produce full and frank financial disclosure showing documentary evidence of their assets and liabilities.  Once this information is exchanged it is hoped that an agreement can be reached regarding all sorts of details.  These include:-

  • where each person shall live
  • how income and assets will be divided
  • should the family home be sold
  • who will take the lead in the sale of the  property

Once the agreement is reached it is made into a Deed and this is often referred to as a Deed of Separation.

For more advice regarding Judicial Separation and Separation Agreements, contact Cotswold Family Law.

See recent article written by Nicky Gough regarding Divorce and Separation.

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