A legal separation in Greater Manchester is a legal arrangement that allows for a separation from a spouse without the finality of a divorce or ending a civil partnership. A legal separation therefore enables both parties to live separate lives but remain married. Issues that can be addressed by a legal separation include the division of debts and assets, child support and child custody, visitation schedules and spousal support.
A petition for legal separation can be made for the same reasons that a divorce might be considered, such as unreasonable behaviour or adultery. Unlike divorce, however, there is no need to show that the relationship has suffered irretrievable breakdown. A separation agreement can be used to protect the interests of both parties until reconciliation, or a divorce, is sought. In order to submit a judicial separation petition, it will be necessary to send two copies of the petition to a divorce court along with a certified copy of a civil partnership certificate or marriage certificate.