Making a choice, divorce or judicial separation

Divorce-judical-separationThere may come a time in your life, when you feel it’s getting hard to live together with your current partner. Daily clashes, fighting over pity issues or in short, intolerance towards each other, makes you think that it’s time to rethink decision you made and consider other options. Ending your current relationship may be the one of the option you would consider. However, before making a final decision, you seriously need to consider legal choices. In case you’re married, following are the choices you can made, depending upon the time period of your relationship and your experience with your ex partner.


Separation means that both of you have decided to live apart. A deed of separation or separation agreement is required to record variety of issues regarding the financial matters, division of assets, custody of children and future plans regarding divorce. This kind of agreement is not a court order and no courts are involved in the drafting of such agreement. This agreement is more of a moral binding, and is required to set the rights and responsibilities of each party. However, there is no legal penalty if you fail to follow any of the terms mentioned. This agreement can be shown in the court if you later plan to file for divorce.


A divorce is a legal instrument that enforces an end to your marriage and lets you to separate and split your finances and assets legally from your partner.

Alternative to Divorce:

An alternative to divorce is judicial separation. Although it is very uncommon, some of the people consider it, because of religious objections to divorce and few other options. It should be noted that there is a difference between the judicial separation and divorce.

  • A judicial separation is a legal procedure in which court declares that couple is legally separated. Judicial separation doesn’t mean divorce, as you stay married while living separately from each other. It should be noted that decree of judicial separation is different and is arranged via family courts. It can be sought on the five facts which are applicable for divorce. However, proving that the marriage has irretrievably broken down is not necessary, in case of judicial separation.

Also read: How to cope with separation?

Grounds for Judicial Separation:

The grounds to obtain decree of judicial separation are same as that of divorce and are listed as follows,

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behavior
  • 2 year separation of the parties by mutual consent
  • If one party has left or deserted the other for a period of 2 years
  • A five year separation of the parties

 Why people seek judicial separation?

There are different reasons why people consider to seek judicial separation. Some of them are listed as follows

  • In case of divorce, you have to be married for one year to start legal proceedings. However, there is no time limit involved, if you’re looking to seek judicial separation.
  • Some of the people have religious beliefs that conflict with the idea of divorce. They can seek judicial separation as an alternative.
  • Legal separation allows to live separately from your partner and buys you time to consider your decision regarding pursing for divorce or not.

 Advantages of judicial separation:

  • In case of divorce, all the benefits available to couple are terminated. In legal separation, you can keep medical and certain other benefits for you, spouse and children.
  • As some of the people are not comfortable with the idea of divorce, because of religious beliefs, legal separation allows them to live separately and keep their marital status intact.
  • It also allows you to take better care for your children, consider different options and make arrangements for them.

How to apply for judicial Separation?

To apply for legal separation, a judicial separation petition (form D8) needs to be filled and should be send to the nearest divorce court. You need to attach a certified copy of marriage along with the petition. Fill in a judicial separation petition – form D8. The cost of legal separation is £365. If you’re on low income or on benefits, you may pay lower court fees than usual.

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