Judicial separation

Judicial separation allows a couple to live separate lives without terminating their marriage or civil partnership. Our family solicitors can help you to decide whether a judicial separation is right for you. We can prepare and submit your application to the court and guide you through the process.

What is judicial separation?

Judicial separation is a legal separation sanctioned by the court.

What is the difference between judicial separation and divorce?

Like divorce (or civil partnership dissolution), judicial separation enables the court to grant orders to divide a couple’s money and property and make arrangements for children.

However, the court does not have the power to split a pension as it does with divorce. The court also cannot grant a Clean Break Order because the couple are legally married. This means that a couple remains financially tied to each other, which can have long-term implications.

The process of separation is very similar to divorce proceedings, except it involves just one decree: A Deed of Judicial Separation, whereas a divorce has two decrees: a Conditional Order and a Final Order. Unlike a divorce, a couple does not need to be married for a year to legally separate. A Deed of Judicial Separation can be obtained at any time.

Since judicial separation does not end a marriage, a couple are not free to remarry.

How is legal separation granted by the court?

The court grants legal separation on the same grounds as divorce.

The court grants legal separation without the party/parties stating that their relationship has irretrievably broken down. The party/ parties must simply state that they seek to be judicially separated from the other party to the marriage or civil partnership. This will allow the court to make an order.

What are the advantages of a judicial separation?

Being legally separated instead of divorced means a couple can continue to benefit from many of the practical and financial advantages of being married to each other while conducting separate lives. For example, if one spouse has a health insurance plan from their employer, their partner will not continue to benefit from it after they divorce. If they legally separate, however, those benefits will be retained.

Those who have moral or religious reasons to object to a divorce may choose judicial separation because it does not end their marriage or civil partnership under the law.

Some people apply for judicial separation because they have not been married or in a civil partnership for a year and therefore cannot yet divorce or dissolve their civil partnership. Others may not be ready to take the final step, and a judicial separation can provide breathing space to consider their options.

It is important to know that if there is provision for a spouse in a Will, this is nullified by legal separation, although a spouse may still be eligible for pension scheme benefits if their partner dies. A new will must be created for a spouse to continue to be a beneficiary.

Have a question or need some help?

Contact Davisons judicial separation solicitors

Davisons solicitors support couples who are considering judicial separation. We can help make separating easier by talking you through your options, helping you to make a plan and guide you through the steps.

Our solicitors are friendly and experienced, and we are here to answer your questions. We offer a Free Initial Assessment so you can talk to us about your situation free of charge and without obligation.

  • Results

    We believe that we are the best, industry leaders and market innovators. We have your back, whether you are moving into your dream home or needing a complex family divorce.
  • Where and when you need us

    Local offices and dedicated people who are accessible, friendly and here to help.
  • Experts in what we do

    We have the best people to help you, high skilled and vastly experienced. We’ll provide you with clear advice, not just options so that you can see a clear way forward.
  • Accreditations

    We have several accreditations that ensure the legal advice we provide is of the highest standards.

Featured News, Blogs And Case Studies


Getting to know Deborah Turner

October 7, 2022

Get your FREE Initial
Assessment now

Fill in the form with your details and a bit about your current situation and a member of our team will be in touch to offer you a FREE initial assessment.

Please let us know you are not a robot