• Greyfriars Solicitors

What is the difference between divorce and Judicial Separation?

Updated: May 27, 2018



The biggest difference between judicial separation and divorce is that judicial separation is a legal separation that allows you to live separately from your spouse. In essence, your marital obligations will come to an end, but you will remain married. There is no end to the marriage, meaning neither party can remarry.


Some people choose to opt for a judicial separation for reasons such as religion, to allow time to see if divorce is what is really wanted, or because they have been married for less than a year (a requirement for divorce).


A Judicial Separation can be sought on the same five grounds as divorce:



Another difference between the two is that with a divorce it is necessary to show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. However, this is not necessary with a legal separation.


The court will be able to exercise its powers over matrimonial property, assets, finances and so forth, as it can in a divorce.


With regard probate, Judicial Separation has the same effect as a Decree Absolute upon a will. Unless a new will is made, the spouse will no longer be able to benefit under the will.


The forms used are the same as that for a divorce but there is a difference in the court fee payable.


If you are not sure which route you should be taking, contact us for a consultation.


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