There is a lot of confusion about what separation is. You can be separated but remain married. This period of separation can count towards the divorce, if you finally decide to divorce.
You can also be separated even though you continue to live under the same roof. Some people believe that they are practically divorced, or that they don’t have to do very much to get a divorce, after they have lived apart for a number of years.
The truth is that you have to go through the same procedure no matter what the reason for your divorce and it takes just as long. If you divorce and obtain a final financial order your former spouse cannot apply to the court for any further orders except to vary maintenance if appropriate. If you separate, whereas it is not possible to obtain an order from the court, financial matters can still be agreed and made the subject of a separation deed which will then form the basis of a clean break order in later proceedings for divorce. This would enable both yourself and your spouse to resolve financial matters at the time of separation. Speak to one of our Family Law Team to discuss your separation in more detail.