Divorce simply dissolves the legal contract between the parties and it is usual to resolve financial issues between a couple at the same time, invoking the powers of the court to vary property rights if they cannot be resolved by agreement. This means that the ownership by a husband or wife of a house, shares or money in a building society or bank can be varied by the court when it decides how the financial claims are to be met.
Separation is often an established fact before either party takes legal advice as to its consequences for the marriage. Absence of information about the consequences may put the party who has left at a disadvantage. It might have dire consequences where one party has resources which are spirited abroad and have disappeared by the time divorce proceedings are taken.
The cost of separate living is greater than the cost of living together but any attempt to return to the matrimonial home may cause further problems, such as an application to oust the returning partner. The time which has elapsed since the separation began is a factor which the spouse who remains in possession of the house may wish to use to bolster his or her position, particularly if children are involved.
It is often the case that couples separate by agreement so that they will be able to divorce when two years have elapsed from the date of their separation. If financial matters are not resolved in an