Judicial Separation Solicitors
For some, due to religious, cultural or moral reasons, divorce is not an option. Or you may wish to formally separate from your spouse or civil partner, but not feel 100% ready to divorce. If this is the case, our team can assist you in seeking a judicial separation.
Our philosophy centres around working collaboratively with our clients. As Resolution members, we seek a non-confrontational approach to resolving disputes wherever possible. By instructing us, you can be assured that we take a considerable interest in the needs of you and your family. We value the trusted relationship we develop with our clients, and in turn, they feel supported and confident that their matter is in the best hands. We will take care of all of the aspects of your separation, including arrangements for children and financial settlements, keeping you informed throughout the process.
We truly believe in the power of mediation and round-table negotiation and always highly encourage our clients to take this approach, as a preference to litigation. By engaging in a non-confrontational approach to achieving judicial separation, our clients can be confident that the solutions they reach are long-lasting and the process is relatively stress-free.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
What is judicial separation?
Judicial separation is a legal process which brings marital obligations to an end. The parties no longer have to live together, and a financial order can be made by the court. In addition, If one party dies intestate, their property devolves as if the other party to the marriage had died, so the surviving spouse will not benefit.
It is crucial to note that judicial separation does not end the marriage. You cannot remarry anyone else unless you divorce. The fact you have a judicial separation will not affect your ability to obtain a future divorce.
What are the grounds for a judicial separation?
Previously, the separating couples needed to prove one of the following:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Two years’ separation with the other spouse’s consent
- Five years’ separation
With the coming into force of the new changes to the divorce and separation laws, it is now no longer required that you establish any of the above listed facts prior to being granted a separation.
Unlike divorce, the Court does not need to be satisfied that the marriage has irretrievably broken down as it will still exist following separation.
What is the procedure for obtaining a judicial separation?
The first step to obtaining a judicial separation is to contact our family law team. Judicial separation is a life-changing event, and therefore it is imperative that your entire financial situation, including your Will and any trusts you are beneficiary to are reviewed.
The form used to commence a judicial separation is the same as that used for divorce (Form D8). As well as filling out the form, you will need to provide the following supporting documents:
- Marriage certificate
- Statement of Reconciliation
- Service copies of the petition
- Court fees
Our family law team, led by Rakhi Sengal, one of the co-founders of the firm, will collate these documents for you and ensure your petition is filed correctly.
Your spouse, now known as the Respondent, must return the acknowledgement of service to the court within seven business days, beginning with the day after the petition was served (in practice this is often not done).
Once the acknowledgement of service has been received (or seven business days has expired), you can make an application for a judicial separation on Form D84.
The Respondent has the right to defend the application for judicial separation; however, this is extremely rare.
What type of financial order will the Court make in a judicial separation?
The Court can make the same type of financial order in a judicial separation as is available in a divorce. However, they cannot make a pension-sharing order; only a pension attachment order. However, provisions for spousal and child maintenance and property adjustment orders can be made.
We will work to achieve a fair financial settlement on your behalf, whether you are seeking to protect your wealth or are the financially weaker spouse responsible for providing for your children.
Talk to us about your options
Deciding to separate from your spouse or civil partner is an emotional, difficult decision. Our family law solicitors provide empathetic, friendly, quality service. Although we promote non-confrontational communication and try to resolve disputes via negotiation and mediation, if court action is required, we will fight tenaciously for your best interests.