We understand that dealing with the end of a marriage can be an upsetting and stressful time. With emotions heightened you might not know which route to take for the best. You may feel a divorce is too drastic if there is hope for reconciliation which is where a separation comes in – but what are the main differences?


A legal separation will not put an end to the marriage in the same way a divorce will. Officially known as a judicial separation, this can be an alternative to divorce. Judicial separation does not end the marriage but simply formalises the separation.

Some people do not want to start divorce proceedings straight away. This could be for any number of reasons, such as being unable to afford separate households or simply needing more time away from your partner whilst you try and reconcile or come to terms with making the final decision to divorce.

If you are not ready to go down the divorce route you can consider a separation agreement to set out arrangements you and your ex-partner have made regarding money, property and child care. It can include things such as how you are going to divide any savings, who the children will live with and what will happen to the family home.

The main differences between a divorce and a judicial separation are:

  • Judicial separation does not legally end the marriage, but a divorce does
  • You cannot marry other people whilst legally separated but you can after getting divorced
  • You will need to submit a statement of irretrievable breakdown
  • You do not have to submit a statement of irretrievable breakdown to get a judicial separation
  • You can get a judicial separation at any point, but with a divorce, you must wait until you have been married for at least one year

If you are looking to either separate or divorce we’re here to help you navigate the process and support you to make decisions that are right for you. Contact us on 01792 458684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk.


Share This