I'm Separated But Do Not Want A Divorce - What Can I Do?

Some people, whether for religious reasons, practical reasons or simply because of timing may not wish to start divorce proceedings when they separate. With any change however there is uncertainty, and most people in this position simply feel the only option is to start divorce or dissolution proceedings.


Are there any other options?

The simple answer is yes.

People who are already married, or in a civil partnership, can enter into a written agreement setting out what they intend to happen to their money, property and other practical issues as a consequence of their current or planned separation. This written agreement is called a separation agreement.

Separation agreements are agreements between parties relating to a marriage or civil partnership which can be drawn up for the two of you, which reflect your particular circumstances and so it can therefore cover almost anything you want it to.

In order to make the separation agreement as persuasive as possible in any future divorce or dissolution proceedings, you both need to disclose and set out your financial circumstances in full, as well as taking independent legal advice on the agreement and its effects. A separation agreement can be negotiated using mediation or collaborative law, or by using solicitors to negotiate between the two of you on your instructions.

More likely to be considered fair if recent

Separation agreements are not binding on the court in the event of a later divorce or dissolution. However, agreements are more likely to be considered to be fair if they are recent, if circumstances have not changed and if you both knew exactly what you were getting into when the separation agreement was made, both legally and financially, without any undue pressure being applied. These can then normally be turned into a final court order.

If a personal relationship is coming to an end there can be many practical problems and difficulties to consider let alone the emotional impact. We as a family team understand this. Should you wish to discuss the possibility of entering into a separation agreement or any of the other options which may be available to you, please contact the Family Team at any of our offices.