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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33515
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My husband and I have been married for 21 years. However,

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My husband and I have been married for 21 years. However, during that time, we have had personal problems between us which we have been unable to resolve. We live in the same house with our 20 year old son. We could not afford to divorce but due to these very long-standing irreconcilable differences, we would like to allow each other the chance to form a loving and intimate relationship with a partner outside the 'marriage' which has been one of friendship only for many years. We would like to draw up a private agreement to this effect as we do not want either one of us to be accused of adultery should a divorce eventually follow. We also believe that you can be legally 'separated' whilst living in the same house but leading separate lives to some degree.
Can you clarify what legal protection in the form of a jointly signed agreement between my husband and I is available and how to go about it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
May I ask why you do not wish to have a divorce and live in the house together at this stage
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

As I said in my question, neither of us can afford to divorce and pay for two separate homes at this stage and we do not want to disrupt the family home which our son shares with us. He can not afford a place of his own but I have read that in English law, you can be living separate lives whilst living in the same house. Initially, we would like to have a trial separation and lead separate lives for financial reasons and because we do not wish to upset our son therefore is there an agreement that can be drawn up so that this arrangement is formalised and neither of us can then accuse the other one of adultery should they meet someone else.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

From your question where you say 'May I ask why you do not wish to have a divorce and live in the house together at this stage', do you mean that we could divorce AND live in the same house together? I have also replied to you more fully at 13.44 on 6th October but still have not had a reply. Please clarify what you mean as I thought you could not divorce and live in the same house?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay.
I did indeed mean that you can divorce and live in the same house - it is one option available to you.
Is that one you wish me to cover?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes please. Can you outline the financial implications and clarify how we would divorce and on what grounds as I thought you had to live separately for a period of time before being allowed to divorce. However, we would still like INITIALLY a formal agreement between the two of us that we are separated or living separate lives whilst we gradually re-build our relationship as 'friends' rather than a married couple. This would give us 'legal' permission to date other people without suddenly being accused of adultery either by each other (if our relationship deteriorated further and one of us 'changed' their minds!) or friends should a new relationship develop into a fuller and more intimate relationship.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You have two ways forward.
You can sit down and agree that one of you will divorce the other for Unreasonable Behaviour (I have known a couple who flipped a coin)
Then you can agree three or four instances of behaviour that you can both feel comfortable with.
Since no one is perfect and "Unreasonable"can in fact be simply irritating
Common facts cited include spending too much time work/sport/hobbies, controlling behaviour, selfishness, lack of interest of an intimate nature, not helping with chores and preferring company of friends and refusing to attend family events
there should be some recent dates quoted (it isn't intolerable to live with someone if you have put up with unreasonable behaviour for 10 years!)
Once that is agreed complete the forms
https://www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce
and get them off to court.
Make sure that all forms you each receive from the court are processed swiftly and you shoudl then actually have your Decree Nisi within four months and the Decree Absolute 6 weeks later
You can then simply continue as you are - but as single people who happen to share a home.
That can be dealt with very swiftly - and once the Petition is at court and the process started you can live your lives as you wish
The other option is to have a Separation Agreement drawn up stating that you both intend to live "free of the control" of each other and entirely separately in the household.
You can adapt the one here
http://www.separateddads.co.uk/sample-separation-agreement.html
if you wish.
If you then wish to have a divorce base don two years separation you must live entirely separately in the house - no shared cleaning/washing/shopping/cooking.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33515
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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