Separating from your Spouse or Partner
If you do not feel quite ready for a divorce but you have agreed that you cannot continue living together, then a formal separation may be an option. You can either opt for a Judicial Separation, which is when the Court states that you are officially separated, or an Informal Separation, which you simply agree between you.
If you choose to separate on an informal basis, then you should record the terms of your separation in respect of any financial division by way of a Separation Agreement. This is not a legally binding document but it is a contract between the two of you and provided that you have each made disclosure of your financial position to the other and that you have both had advice on the agreement.
What is Legal Separation?
A Legal or Judicial Separation is a more formal process. It is like a divorce, only the Judge will make an order that you are officially separated and this can be converted into a divorce at a later stage if required. The benefit of a judicial separation is that you are then entitled to apply to the court for your financial agreement to be made binding and enforceable (except for Pension Sharing Orders, which can only be made under Divorce Proceedings).