Mentally divorced or separated, legally still married

Separated but not divorced

Many people evaluate their personal circumstances in January; clean break, new year, new start. For some this means finally getting round to sorting out the legalities of ending a marriage. You may have been separated for many years; you may be in a new relationship, in a new house, a new city. You may not have thought much about the fact that legally you are still married though the emotional commitment ended long ago.

Getting divorced after a lengthy separation does not have to be a daunting task. In all likelihood you have already done most of the complicated parts of a divorce such as sorting out finances and dealing with property. The last step is to formalise these arrangements and the end of the marriage in the eyes of the law by getting a divorce.

Financial arrangements are dealt with as part of the divorce process by creating a Consent Order, alternatively known as a ‘Clean Break’ order. This is basically a document which details the agreement you have reached with your ex-spouse. However, this document is also vitally important as it finalises financial dealing between you. Contained within the Consent Order are clauses which protect each party from any future financial action by the other, hence being known as a ‘Clean Break’.

You may think you don’t need a Consent Order; you and your ex are on good terms, you’re sure that they have no intention of financially pursuing you once the divorce is settled. However, imagine: you have been divorced, you re-marry and your new spouse wins the lottery! If you did not have a Consent Order as part of your divorce, your ex-spouse could successfully sue for a portion of your new spouses’ lottery winnings! Hence the importance of ensuring a Consent Order is in place.

Having said this, the divorce process following a long separation need not be stressful. Here at April King Legal, our main goal is to help you through the divorce process as quickly and painlessly as possible. We provide a free initial appointment with our friendly and compassionate team to discuss fully the processes of divorce. We will explain in detail the potential time frames and costs involved as well as the issues which are personal to you and your situation.

There are other reasons to legally dot the i’s and cross the t’s when it comes to a long separation. Although you may not consider yourself to be married, you are legally still married. This has effects on inheritance and who your next of kin is should anything happen to you. If you have not made a new will since you separated from your ex, they will still be in line to inherit your estate, regardless of how long you have been separated.

For all these reasons and many more, if you have been separated for over two years, maybe now is the time to sort out your divorce once and for all?

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Contact us for friendly advice without obligation. We have locations throughout the East and West Midlands and we can also offer home visits where this is more convenient. Call 0800 788 0500 or email to make an appointment with your nearest office.

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