Judicial Separation & Separation Agreements.

If you are yet to decide whether a divorce or civil dissolution is the right route for you, we can help guide you through making the arrangements to suit your specific circumstances.

A legal separation is a route taken by unmarried or married couples who intend to separate and wish to make financial arrangements to split assets without the finality of a divorce or civil dissolution. This option is usually used where one of the parties to the marriage has religious objections to obtaining a divorce, or where the parties have been married for less than 12 months.

There are two options available:

  • Obtain a Decree of Judicial Separation from the Family Court
  • To enter into a Separation Agreement, which does not involve any court proceedings.

A separation agreement is usually used when both parties are able to reach agreement in respect to finances without court intervention. When this is not able to be the case, it will require a party to issue the Judicial Separation Petition at Court. Within these proceedings, the Court can make an Order in respect to finances within the separation, although this does not cover pension orders which can only be achieved within a divorce or dissolution.

A separation agreement is not always binding in court on future proceedings but can have a huge weight on the case outcome. If changes were sought from one party in subsequent proceedings, the Court would consider whether both parties were fully transparent about their respective finances and had taken independent legal advice at the time of the separation order. If that is the case, the Court would usually not depart from the terms of the agreement.


Why Choose O’Hara Solicitors To Process Your Separation?

Whatever you may be facing as a family, whatever make up or size your family is, was, or will be, we are here to listen to what you have to say and help with what you need. We will help take the strain from a very emotional issue, make the law easier to grasp and tailor our services for you and your circumstances.

  • Proactive and dedicated family run firm
  • Receive key updates on your matter via our O’Hara Solicitors App
  • Over 45 years of legal experience
  • Flexible if unable to come to the office.

We will make everything as easy as possible for you during this tough time, helping take any strain away, making your situation and options easier to grasp to help find a solution that works perfectly for you.





Frequently Asked Questions About Separation

What is the benefit of entering into a separation if we are married?

A separation allows a couple to split without the finality a divorce or civil dissolution brings. This works for couples where a party does not want to divorce due to religious reasons or may wish to trial separation with a hopes for reconciliation.

It is also put in place if the marriage or civil partnership is less than 12 months as it will help outline financial arrangements for when they do wish to divorce.

What is the benefit of a separation if we are not married?

As non-married couples do not have the same rights as married couples, a separation agreement may be useful document to outline financial arrangements, help reduce tension, and offer reassurance and certainty in a very emotionally driven process.

Is a separation agreement legally binding?

A separation agreement is not technically binding as it is not run through the Courts however it can be used as a basis for a court order and divorce proceedings as starting point as a formal legal document.

To help make sure the separation agreement isn’t challenged, both parties must be fully open about their finances – this is referred to as a financial disclosure. If you are open and honest about all debts, investments, savings and property at the time of the agreement, it will have more standing in future proceedings without challenge.

What happens if we have a separation agreement and then decide to divorce?

If you decide to take the step from your separation towards a divorce or civil dissolution, if you separation agreement has been drawn up correctly and is fair or reasonable, it will be unlikely a Court with interfere with it during proceedings.

To hold up within the divorce proceedings, it would need to fulfil the following conditions;

  • Both parties took legal advice before entering the separation agreement
  • Both parties made a full and honest financial disclosure
  • Both parties living and financial circumstance are similar to when the agreement

If this is adhered to, then the separation agreement can be transferred into a financial consent order by a solicitor.

Other Areas Of Family Law We Cover



Our family team will be able to guide you through your divorce simply with empathy.



Our legal team will guide you through your civil partnership dissolution with care and tact.



O’Hara Solicitors can work with you to provide the best separation plan possible.



We cover many areas of financial law including divorce finances, post-nuptial and pre-nuptial agreements.



Covering child law areas including arrangement orders, child maintenance and rights for grandparents.



O’Hara Solicitors are able to help you with your domestic abuse issue legally and safely.