Before issuing divorce proceedings or judicial separation, you should consider whether your relationship is definitely over. Are you going through a rough patch or is your relationship really over - you may want to explore the option of mediation.
Mediation may assist and allow both yourself and your partner to arise from any potential break up, or it may assist by making it clear to you both that the marriage or civil partnership has no future.
If the marriage has come to an end, the parties will need to consider how they should dissolve that relationship, what will happen to the children (if any) and what will happen with their financial assets.
The information given in this article and the following articles are based upon the assumption that the parties are married to each other, as opposed to cohabitating. When that relationship has come to an end, there are a number of options available to the parties, which includes simply physically separating, divorce or judicial separation.
This article and the upcoming articles will deal with each option separately however should not be intended to constitute legal advice and you should contact a person fully qualified before you make any decisions.
You hear stories about couples who go through divorces, however, you can simply separate, i.e. live apart, and not do anything further about it. This is outside of the Court process.
However, it can be assumed that this is only going to work if both parties have agreed to all other aspects of their relationship as mentioned above, such as child arrangements, what will happen to any property etc.
The parties could enter into a Separation Agreement, which is a written contract between both parties. This will not involve any Court proceedings, but it could be enforced by the Court if either party later decided to go back on that agreement.
The Separation Agreement can cover all of the issues upon which the parties have reached an agreement on, however, the contents of the Separation Agreement must be agreed between both parties.
It is important to note that a Separation Agreement can never overthrow the jurisdiction of the Court, however, it is unlikely that a Court will overturn an agreement on a Separation Agreement on the basis that both parties entered into that agreement on equal footing and both parties received independent legal advice and provided that there was no misrepresentation.
If all aspects are agreed and you wish to physically separate, the parties will need to be mindful that they are still legally married (as nothing has been formalised) and, therefore, the parties are unable to remarry. The parties would need to issue proceedings to have their marriage dissolved to thereafter marry another.
The parties should also be mindful of any inheritance issues that may arise, in the event that either party died.
The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal advice on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor before you embark on any course of action.
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