Judicial Separation

Judicial separation

What is judicial separation?

Judicial separation is a formal separation of a married couple. Judicial separation has three main effects:

  1. You would no longer be required to live with your husband/wife;
  2. The Court can still make financial and child arrangement orders that can be made upon divorce; and
  3. If your husband/wife dies without a will his or her property and assets transfer as if you were no longer alive which the same provision as with divorced couples.

The grounds

The grounds for judicial separation are much the same as for divorce, except that there is no requirement to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and you are not required to have been married for any minimum length of time.

The advantages of judicial separation

  1. Judicial separation is usually a less expensive process than divorce proceedings;
  2. You may not want to get a divorce for religious, cultural or personal reasons so judicial separation may be a preferable route for couples who wish to separate and avoid divorce proceedings;
  3. Your husband/wife would no longer takes any benefit under your will unless you draft a new will is specifically stating so (section 18(2), Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973);
  4. Judicial separation does not involve the challenges and difficulty of establishing irretrievable break down to the Court which is required in a divorce;
  5. You can apply for a decree of judicial separation within the first year of your marriage as there is no minimum length of time requirement; and
  6. You may want time and space to consider if you want to end your marriage.

The disadvantages of judicial separation

  1. Judicial separation does not bring your marriage to an end and may not offer the same closure and termination to your marriage that a divorce would provide; and
  2. Judicial separation does not offer clean break during the financial order stage.

If you require any further advice on judicial separation or any other family matters, then please do get in touch with our Family Lawyers who will provide the best advice and solution for you.