FAQs About Divorce – What is the difference between a separation and a divorce?



In Elizabeth Dowler’s second mini blog in the series Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce she explains the difference between a separation and a divorce. For a variety of reasons, some people do not wish to proceed with a divorce even once they have decided that their marriage is at an end.

In the eyes of the law, until a Decree Absolute is granted by the Court, you will still be considered to be married even if you have been separated for a number of years.

This will preclude you from getting remarried and without starting the divorce process, you cannot obtain an Order from the Court dealing with the financial matters. Therefore, in order to achieve absolute finality with regards to the division of the financial assets, it is necessary to initiate a divorce.

If divorce is not a feasible option, or not a route that you would wish to pursue, you can enter into a Separation Agreement. This is an agreement made when a couple are contemplating separation or are separated already. The agreement sets out the agreed financial provisions for the period of separation and normally sets out how the couple’s finances should be divided on a later divorce.

It is important to note that Separation Agreements are not legally strictly binding in that they cannot oust the jurisdiction of the Court to determine how the finances should be divided on divorce. However, if Separation Agreements are properly negotiated, with both parties providing each other with full financial disclosure and both having legal advice, they would hold considerable weight.

If you would like more information about separation or divorce, please contact us on 01225 75000 to arrange a fixed-fee initial consultation.