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Difference between Divorce and Legal Separation

Date: (10 April 2013)    |    

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You can get a divorce if you have been married at least a year and your relationship has permanently broken down.
The marriage has to be legally recognised in the UK, and you must have a permanent home in England or Wales.
The main steps towards getting a divorce are, filing of divorce petition by applying to the court for permission to divorce and show grounds why you want to end the marriage. Second step is applying for a decree nisi where if your partner agrees to the petition you’ll get a document saying there’s no reason why you cant divorce and lastly applying for a decree absolute which ends the marriage legally which happens 6 weeks after you have obtained a decree nisi by applying.
Grounds for divorce:
Good reasons have to support your divorce application the major grounds for a divorce are, Adultery where a partner has cheated by sleeping with another of the opposite sex, unreasonable behaviour – which include physical violence, verbal abuse, drunkenness or drug habit, or refusing to pay for housekeeping. Desertion – when a husband or wife leaves without his or her partner’s agreement, without good reason, to end the relationship or for more than 2 years in the past two and a half year. You could get a divorce if you have lived apart for two years and both agree to the divorce, your husband or wife must agree in writing. And if you have lived apart for more than 5 years divorce can be taken irrespective of agreement of either of the spouses.
Legal separation:
To get a legal separation, you need to fill in a separation petition and send it to the court. A legal separation allows you to live apart without divorcing or ending a civil partnership.
You can ask for a legal separation for the same reasons you could file for a divorce, eg adultery or unreasonable behaviour but one need not show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
You may also want a legal separation if, you have religious reasons against divorce, you’ve been married less than a year or you want time and space to work out if you want to end the marriage