Angela Moores
Formerly of Jarvis Family Law, Harrogate
Family & Divorce Solicitors Harrogate,Oldham,Ashton under Lyne,Stockport Menu

What does separation mean?

Last month I wrote about questions regarding debt repayment. I then thought about other points that are consistently raised by a client in our first meeting. Perhaps the most legal meaning of separation obvious one is whether you have to formally register that you have separated and when is it exactly that separation occurs.

The exact point of separation can be important for several reasons including if you subsequently wish to divorce on the basis of two or five years separation or (as I discussed in a previous article) to identify the tax year of separation. Separation can also be a factor when applying for a grant or bursary for a child’s education.

You do not have to formally register the commencement of a separation although it is always best to perhaps meet with a solicitor, not only to note the separation date but also to obtain initial advice about any important issues that need to be considered. All our initial meetings are at no charge so there is nothing to be lost.

Separation starts when you are both aware, and of similar mind, that the relationship has come to an end. For instance it would be wrong to include any period where one spouse is working away but who genuinely believes the marriage to be continuing.

Equally separation can start and continue despite both parties living in the same house. The legal requirement is that spouses should live “separately and apart” albeit that might be in the same property. That means not sleeping in the same bedroom, not washing, cooking or cleaning for the other and keeping monies relatively separate. The court often seeks confirmation of these points within the divorce process.

We are now able to meet with clients at the Tanner Business Centre in Greenfield

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