Q. Can we separate legally without getting a divorce?
A. Yes. There is no legal requirement whatsoever to divorce unless you wish to, unless of course you want to remarry. Of course, you should get advice from your divorce solicitor as separating can have significant financial implications on issues such as care of children, protecting your home ownership rights and pensions.
Q. Is there anything I need to consider if we decide not to divorce, but just to live separately at this stage?
A. Yes. It is important to agree issues with regard to your children, for example who claims any tax or other benefits; who the children live with, what support should be paid and so on. Also do make sure you get proper advice on financial issues such as the effects of separation on house shares, the pension position – some pensions pay out on death but not if separated (it’s much more complex than this short answer) – and ensuring you do nothing to prevent a fair divorce settlement. Speak to your lawyer about the benefits of mediation to help you resolve these issues.