Legal separation, also known as judicial separation, allows you to live apart from your spouse without divorcing them and dissolving your marriage. Although the procedure for obtaining a decree of judicial separation is similar to divorce proceedings, the court does not have to decide whether the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

You may choose to opt for judicial separation if you have been married for less than 12 months, if you want some time to decide whether to get divorced or if you have religious beliefs against divorce. Obtaining a decree of judicial separation does not prevent you from applying for a divorce in the future.

Unlike divorce, judicial separation does not affect existing wills, so it is important to review your financial affairs at this time.