Judicial Separation

Sometimes divorce is not an option when married couples separate. This is often as a result of religious reasons where, culturally, divorce is not accepted.

At Slater Heelis, we are attuned to the complexities of such situations, and experts at obtaining practical solutions which allow our clients to access the wide range of financial orders in the Family Court.

Judicial separation is the term used for the formal court process that is very similar to a divorce, but avoids the religious and cultural connotations to which the latter relates: critically, the marriage itself remains intact.

Notwithstanding a judicial separation, if a couple later decides to divorce, they are able to do so.

This has the advantage that pension sharing orders can be obtained in those subsequent divorce proceedings.

If you are considering a judicial separation and would like to know more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly and dedicated experts

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Judicial Separation or Divorce?

There are a number of key differences between judicial separation and divorce.

Arguably the most significant difference is that pension sharing orders cannot be made within judicial separation proceedings. This is a very serious drawback, given that pensions can often be the most valuable asset in a case.

The other major difference is an obvious one: unlike with a divorce, where the parties are then free to remarry, this is not the case with a judicial separation: as above, the marriage itself will continue.

Other key differences include:

  • Before starting proceedings for a divorce, the parties must have been married for at least one year. There is no such time bar in respect of proceedings for a judicial separation.
  • Unlike divorce proceedings which involve two ‘decrees’ (an interim order known as ‘decree nisi’ and a final order known as ‘decree absolute’), a judicial separation only has only one: a decree of judicial separation.
  • Although a decree of judicial separation does not actually end a marriage, its effect is to relieve the obligation of the person who has applied for the separation to live with his or her spouse.
  • There is no requirement to prove the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’ as there is with a divorce.

Related Services

Divorce Solicitors

If you decide to pursue a divorce our experienced family law solicitors can help guide you through the process, facilitate mediation and act as arbitrators if necessary.

Civil Partnership Dissolution

Civil partnership dissolution can be a complicated process, but with the help of our expert family law solicitors, we can work to resolve disputes and provide valuable practical advice.

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