Pride and Prejudice – Marriage in Modern Times
Sahil Aggarwal | 05.07.2019
A divorce can seem an irrevocable step, and many couples opt for a period of separation to see if it changes the way they feel. Whether you’re choosing separation to assess your relationship or as a precursor to divorce, you’ll benefit from legal advice to know exactly where you stand, in terms of your children, finances and jointly owned assets.
Many couples in this situation find it helpful to enter into a Separation Agreement (sometimes called a Deed of Separation). If you plan to separate for two years and then get a divorce, you should ask a solicitor to help prepare the documents for any agreements you’ve made between you.
Adultery can still take place even though a married couple are separated, and it can be used as grounds for divorce, provided it’s acted on within six months of knowledge.
It’s important you think carefully about the care of your children when you separate from your partner. The older they are, the more likely they will want to be involved in discussions and express their opinion about these arrangements. There’s more information on our children page.
Your property rights don’t usually change when you separate. If you jointly own a property, you’ll still be joint owners although your shares may change over time. If you are married and the family home is in your spouse’s sole name it’s sensible to register a Matrimonial Homes Rights Notice against the title of the property. This should prevent it being sold, mortgaged or otherwise dealt with while you are separated, possibly without your knowledge. We can give you advice about property and prepare this notice for you.
It’s well worth seeking our advice if you are about to separate. We’ve known couples reconcile after a period of separation, and feel reassured they had the support of a solicitor to make clear arrangements for their children, finances, and assets. Your individual interests are protected while you are separated, and in the long term, it will make life easier whether you decide to divorce or are able to reconcile.
We’ll be ready to discuss all the legal aspects of separation with you, individually or together. We will also give you advice about the documentation you need, and draft it for you with as much or as little detail as you wish.