Starting your divorce- I am separated what now? The important thing to bear in mind is that it is your decision when to start the divorce process. You can take this step whenever you feel ready, and one of our Solicitors can advise you as to the various options available to you. It is important to consider whether the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and if not, a divorce may not be the best option for now. The most obvious avenue to some, is to petition for divorce. In this circumstance, it would be best to seek legal advice as to how to go about doing so. We can provide this initial advice on a fixed fee basis and provide you with various options to help decide on what basis you would like to proceed with a divorce. If you do not feel ready to start a divorce, there is the possibility of entering into a Separation Agreement, which is effectively a contract between you and your spouse. This option is a means of separating from one another financially, and also setting out the arrangements in relation to the children. This also accommodates the possibility of a reconciliation. However, the Separation Agreement would not automatically bind the Court in any subsequent divorce proceedings, although they may have regard to it. You are not obliged to do anything if you do not feel ready. There can be some advantages to waiting to proceed, for example, allowing you to start a divorce once you have been separated from your spouse for a period of two years can provide for a less acrimonious divorce, detracting away from the precise reasons that the marriage has broken down. Even if you are not ready to separate, and are merely contemplating separating, it is better to seek advice as to the options that are available to you.