When it seems as though a marriage has come to an end, many couples immediately start to think about divorce. However, some husbands and wives decide not to pursue a divorce straight away, and instead opt for a period of separation.
Each case will be different, but some of the reasons partners might choose to do this include:
Religion – There are a number of faiths that don’t recognise divorce, and while the couple may no longer wish to live together, they decide against formally dissolving the marriage.
Finances – Getting divorced could mean that one partner may no longer have access to various financial benefits, such as private health-care, tax allowances, or pension benefits; however, with a separation, these benefits remain in place.
Chance of reconciliation – Some couples will opt for a period of separation with a view to trying to fix their marriage and get back together. This time apart may provide the opportunity to obtain a more objective view of the relationship, which makes reconciliation possible.
Grounds for divorce – When one or both partners have decided that they would prefer to get divorced, they may undergo a period of separation (for 2 or 5 years, depending on both partners’ attitudes towards the divorce) in order to provide the necessary grounds for a divorce.
If you are considering divorce or separation, get advice from our Family Solicitors Leeds office, to make sure you understand all your options.
Whatever the reasons for your separation, it is usually a good idea to draw up an agreement that outlines the partners’ responsibilities, or you may even wish to formalise the arrangement with a Judicial Separation.
Deed of Separation
A Deed of Separation sets out all the arrangements for the separation that have been agreed upon by the husband and wife. These would typically include matters like:
- arrangements concerning the children
- the division of property and assets
- responsibility for bills and debts
- the payment of any sort of maintenance
This type of separation agreement may be very useful and could even help avoid the need for court proceedings if the couple decide to get divorced in the future. However, it’s worth noting that this isn’t a legally binding agreement, and a court can change any of the agreed arrangements in a future divorce proceeding.
A Judicial Separation goes further than the Deed of Separation in that it involves the court formally acknowledging the separation of the partners, and the agreement on the various matters involving the couple’s finances and their children. While this more formalised separation agreement may suit some individuals, there is always the chance that the Respondent to a Judicial Separation could decide to pursue a divorce instead.
If you are considering separation, get in touch with our Family Solicitors Leeds office. We offer a range of services to suit all budgets, and will provide the advice and assistance you need.