Reason for seeking Legal Separation
- A decree of judicial separation can be sought at any time during a marriage. Unlike divorce, there is no requirement to wait for a year after the marriage. It also means that anyone who has been married for less than a year and requires financial support by way of a court order may benefit from judicial separation.
- The parties may have religious reasons for not wanting to commence divorce proceedings. This decree offers an alternative in this scenario.
- The parties may want some time and space to consider their different alternatives and decide if and when they want to end the marriage.
Grounds for separation
- Adultery of either or both parties.
- Unreasonable behaviour of either or both parties.
- A 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 5 year separation of the parties.
Difference between Judicial Separation and Divorce
- There is no requirement to wait for a year to commence separation proceedings as there is with divorce;
- There is no requirement to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
- Unlike divorce, the separation process does not dissolve the marriage
- Judicial separation does not have the same affect on pensions as divorce as the parties are technically still married.
Effect of Judicial Separation
- There is no obligation for either of the parties to live together;
- The courts can make an order in relation to the division of the matrimonial property;
- If one of the spouse dies intestate the surviving spouse will not benefit unless there is a valid will made stating that to be the case.
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