Overview

Overview

Contents

Why separation?

If your marriage or civil partnership has broken down but you have religious or moral objections to divorce or dissolution, separation may be the way forward for you. If you are married, this is called a 'judicial separation'. For civil partnerships, it is simply called 'separation'.

This does not end your marriage or civil partnership, so you wouldn't be able to remarry or enter into a new civil partnership afterwards. It is an order that allows you to stop living with your spouse or civil partner without the fear that this will be seen as desertion (which is one of the facts to show irretrievable breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership). It also enables you to sort out issues such as the financial needs and the arrangements for the children on a formal basis before you separate, which is not always possible when you simply stop living together.

When can you get separated?

You may apply for a judicial separation or separation at any time after you get married or enter into a civil partnership. After doing so, you can still get divorced or dissolve your civil partnership later, if you want to.

Jurisdiction

All aspects relating to jurisdiction as discussed in the Divorce or dissolution section also apply to judicial separation or separation. See Jurisdiction for more information.

Grounds

Unlike when you want a divorce or dissolution, you do not need to prove the 'irretrievable breakdown' of your marriage or civil partnership. If you prove any of the 'facts' discussed in the divorce or dissolution section, that alone will entitle you to a decree of judicial separation or a separation order. See Grounds and the facts to prove them for more information.