If you’ve ended your marriage on friendly terms and don’t plan on re-marrying, you might want to think about getting a separation instead of a divorce.
You might have known for some time that your marriage was coming to an end and have already made big life changes before finalising any legal documents. If this sounds familiar, then a legal separation lets you take that final step to making your financial split official without having to take on the divorce process.
It’s important to know that only a divorce means you can remarry and legally divide your pensions with a Pension Sharing Order.
If you don’t want to issue a petition for divorce, then you could get Separation Agreement or Judicial Separation – let’s take a look at what each involves:
A separation agreement is a document that sets out how you want to split your assets after separating. If you wants to divide your finances but avoid divorce, a separation agreement allows you to do this without going through the divorce process.
A separation agreement doesn’t need to be approved by the Court, and is technically not a legally binding document, but it can act as a formal contract.
And if you decide to divorce later down the line, you can ask the Court to make a Financial Order, which is legally binding, in the same terms as your separation agreement.
Unlike a separation agreement, judicial separation is a formal separation that goes through the Court in a similar process to divorce. The main difference is that unlike a divorce you remain married at the end of the process and instead of receiving a Decree Nisi and a Decree Absolute there is just one decree pronouncing the judicial separation.
This lets the Court make an Order about the division of assets similar to a Financial Order in divorce.
You may choose this option if there are specific reasons why you can’t divorce, such as religious reasons. In any case, you can choose to divorce later down the line.