Legal and Judicial Separation

What is legal separation?
A legal separation agreement is a formalised agreement between couples who wish to live separately. It is often a precursor to divorce.

The details of a legal separation establish the terms under which a couple will resolve financial, property and family issues. This helps both parties to have a clear understanding of what has been agreed and means that either partner can go to court to change the details of the agreement in the future if circumstances change.

It is often worthwhile to consult a solicitor when preparing a separation agreement, but deciding in advance the areas you want to cover will help to reduce legal costs.

What is a Judicial separation?
A judicial separation is an order made by a divorce county court which allows a married couple to live separately as they would under a divorce. Judicial separations are quite rare, but can be used by couples who have strong moral or religious objections to divorce.

However, a Judicial separation does not legally end the marriage as a divorce would, so neither partner is free to marry again (or enter into a civil partnership).