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In the event of the breakdown of a marriage, divorce is not the only option available to you. A legal separation is often preferable for many people for a variety of reasons:

  • Your religious views may conflict with the concept of divorce
  • You can take time to decide if you really wish to end your marriage, as a legal separation allows you to live apart without divorcing or ending a civil partnership
  • You have been married less than a year
  • You may not be able to resolve financial matters yourself and you may require a legal professional to specify arrangements such as property, child maintenance and assets

If you choose to legally separate then decide to divorce at a later date, the separation process can expedite the divorce.

How much does it cost to legally separate?

You are bound to pay a court fee when you submit your separation petition, which is currently set at £550. Should you receive benefits or you receive a low income, you may qualify for a reduced fee.

You need to apply separately to be considered for financial Ancillary Relief, which incurs an additional court fee.

Is there anything else I need to know?

It is important to bear in mind that, while you are legally separated, you are not allowed to remarry, as in a legal capacity you are still married.

If you have been married for less than a year, you cannot divorce until the year is up and in some cases, you may need to be separated for two years before a divorce can be granted. In this instance, a legal separation will set out the financial terms you and your partner must adhere to whilst you are waiting to divorce. This is an ideal way to protect your financial interests during this interim period.

It’s advisable to seek professional advice before you choose to apply for a legal separation, in order to ensure you are fully aware of all the legal and financial obligations, particularly in relation to pensions and inheritance.

If you feel that a separation agreement is something you would like to consider, then please contact us or call our mobile friendly number 033 33 22 1000 or 0800 987 8156 and we will assist and guide you through the process.

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