Unlike divorce, a legal separation does not put an end to the marriage, it enables you to live separately but remain married. During the time that you are living apart, you have a court order that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse. You remain legally married while choosing to live separate lives. Issues that can be addressed in a separation agreement are division of assets and debts, child custody and child support, visitation schedules and spousal support.
The same issues addressed during the divorce process are also addressed in a separation agreement. A separation agreement can protect your interests until the decision is made to file for divorce. The separation agreement also sets precedence for the divorce that may follow. If you divorce after a separation and your case goes to court, a judge is likely to assume that since you were satisfied with the separation agreement, the agreement should carry over to the divorce settlement agreement. Family solicitor, Heidi Cardoza, says “For that reason, it is important that you come to a separation agreement you can live with in the long term.”
The Court will grant a divorce if a party can show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. For marriage to have irretrievably broken down, one of the following things must be proved;
- Your partner has committed adultery (the adultery must be admitted)
- Your partner has behaved unreasonably towards you
- Your partner has deserted you for two years or more
- You’ve lived apart for at least two years and you both agree to the divorce
For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Heidi or a member of her team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.