If you don’t want to divorce but have separated you may be wondering about formalising the separation in some way. You may ask, is it possible to have a “Legal Separation”?
The term “Legal Separation” is not one recognised by the Courts. Often when married couples separate they agree financial matters and may decide to enter into a Deed of Separation. This is an agreement between the parties as to how they will divide assets etc. at that stage and is used as the basis of their financial Order within a Divorce.
Alternatively it is possible to apply to the Court for a Judicial Separation. This is very similar to the procedure followed for a Divorce except that there is no final decree (the Decree Absolute). Some benefits of using it are that you do not have to wait until you have been married for 12 months and the Court can become involved in deciding what happens with financial matters and can make an Order in this respect.
However, Judicial Separations are fairly unusual. This is because people often feel that if they simply have to repeat the same procedure for a Divorce in the future then they may as well start Divorce Proceedings at this stage so saving the expense and time of repeating the process.