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Separation or divorce, what’s best for you and your family

Just one year after they tied the knot, rap royalty Cardi B and Offset have split and publicly announced their separation. Cardi took to Instagram to tell her followers the news, explaining “Things just haven’t been working out between us for a long time and it’s nobody’s fault. I guess we grew out of love, but we’re not together anymore. I don’t know. It might take time to get a divorce and I’m gonna always have a lot of love for him because he is my daughter’s father.” Though their relationship was unique in the way it was played out with the press, I’m sure many couples can sympathise with the feelings the pair might be going through and the decisions they’ll be facing in how to move forward with their finances and their daughter, Kulture. In her message to her fans, Cardi emphasised the fact she wouldn’t be filing for divorce straight away and would instead choose to be separated for a while – a choice many couples make initially. Today we’re going to look at why couples might make this decision, and whether it’s better to divorce as soon as you’ve made your mind up that the relationship is over.

Separating

Legally separating in the UK is similar to a divorce and it allows you to live apart while remaining married. Some couples chose to do this informally and don’t bother recording their separation in a legal way, one partner simply moves out of the marital home and comes to an informal financial and social agreement with the other about the childcare and other assorted plans moving forward. This process is different if you want to be legally seen as ‘separated’ in the eyes of the court. To be legally separated you need to file a separation petition with the court and come to a ‘separation agreement’, a binding legal document that lays out the financial implications.

You can apply for this using the same reasons you might seek a divorce, like adultery or unreasonable behaviour, but the difference is that you aren’t required to prove the marriage has broken down irretrievably. You might want a legal separation rather than a divorce for religious reasons, if you’ve been married for under the required length of time for a divorce or if you just want to take some time and space from your partner to figure out want you want to do next. The process is very similar, including filing your D8 form and sending two copies to your local divorce centre. Getting a legal separation costs £365.

Divorcing

You can get a divorce in England or Wales if you’ve been married at for least a year and your relationship has permanently broken down. If you’re looking to divorce after a legal separation, you’ll find that much of the process is very similar. You’ll have to submit a divorce petition, the same form, over again and pay an additional court fee of £550. Before you apply, you should have worked out with your spouse the childcare arrangements for your family moving forward. Who will look after your children now you’re not living in the same house, and what are the associated child maintenance payments for them. After a divorce, you two are officially free to date and marry other people and in the eyes of the law your partnership is completely over.

You also need to sort out the division of your finances and how your money and property will be allocated between the two of you. The fastest way to get a divorce always starts at home, so we typically recommend that you talk to your spouse about the kind of separation you’re seeking out and what it will look like on a daily basis for you and your children, your finances etc. Quickie Divorce have managed to bring the average time for a divorce down to 12 weeks for our clients, and that’s partly down to the importance of mediation and how we use it.

What’s right for you

Whether you look to divorce or legally separate will be down to the particular circumstances of your break up. If you’re religious and the concept of ‘divorce’ isn’t compatible with that, you can get a legal separation and benefit from lots of the important elements of divorce but not have to compromise on your beliefs. Likewise, if you want some structured physical and financial separation from your spouse, but you’re not confident that you’ll never want to try to work your issues out in the future then a separation agreement might also be right for you. For most couples, making the decision to split is final and they might have even tried a trial separation before – if that’s the case, taking the plunge and divorcing is probably the right step. We offer a range of packages for all budgets and needs, so take a look at our services and give us a call today for free and impartial advice.

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