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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

“The difference between divorce and legal separation is that….”


“The difference between divorce and legal separation is that a legal separation gives a husband time to hide his money.”

This is a quote from a celebrity. As my views on "celebrity divorces" are clear, I am not going to increase their "celebrity" by naming them! But they might have a point.

Legal separation is simple, you just separate. There is no illegal separation as such. But most people would sensibly have a separation agreement to set out who pays what and reduce the legal conflict and also the legal costs. But, of course, you are still married and entitled to payments under life policies and so on. Do watch out for things such as:

  • getting an inheritance. Will the spouse be entitled to a share on a divorce settlement? They may well be
  • winning the lottery. Ditto!
  • your spouse hiding their true finances during the separation and before the divorce financial settlement (when finances are normally gone through carefully)
  • their business suddenly develops a downturn and they can't pay out much. Oh, really?!

Andrew Woolley
Divorce solicitor

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