Recently, the subject of divorce has become more prevalent. Recent headlines have highlighted some of the issues regarding how difficult it is to grant a divorce. This is why it is important to be aware of legal issues around separation and divorce.

The difference

Separation and divorce are two different things. When a couple separates, you are still married. However, you can set out a legal document showing you have been separated. This agreement outlines what a couple has to adhere to while they are separated.

A divorce is final, ending a marriage. How long this process takes will depend on the circumstances. It can take six months if clear blame can be assigned, or up to five years if there is no blame assigned to a specific party.

Why apply for separation?

Couples often apply for separation if they are having issues with their marriage, but may not necessarily want to end it. Time apart is often useful, as it allows both parties in the marriage to gauge whether or not they want to live without each other.

It can also have practical advantages- there are certain benefits you can keep if you are separated but not divorced. Furthermore, if you follow a religion that either discourages or does not allow divorce, it allows you to be separate without contravening religious guidance.

Applying for a divorce

There are various ways you can apply for a divorce. For example, it is possible to point out unreasonable behaviour with one of the parties. If this can be proven, then this may speed up the process.

Potential divorce changes

As mentioned earlier, one of the major issues with divorce in recent years is the need to assign blame. The fact is that with a lot of divorces, there may not be specific blame and that the couple may simply have mutually agreed to end a relationship.

If new rules come into force, this would remove this requirement. There is also the feeling that by removing the need to assign blame, it can shift the focus on to the more practical aspects of divorce, such as deciding who owns property or making considerations regarding parental responsibility and childcare issues.

It is also felt that this is important in order to remove some of the more emotionally negative aspects of divorce. While it would be difficult to remove these issues entirely from the divorce process, being able to reduce the timeframe and to remove the need to assign blame could take out some potential issues that could exacerbate difficult emotional problems.

We can help

If you are going through a divorce or are considering a separation, we can help. Contrary to popular belief, legal representatives are sensitive to how hard these situations can be. We want to guide you through this and reduce the problems involved as much as possible. If you want to discuss your personal situation in more detail, please contact us today so we can guide you through the options available.