I''ve recently separated after 11 years. We never married but have 3 children (10 and under). I''m finding it hard on this site to understand what is different between my case and those going through a proper divorce.
Hello and welcome to wiki but sorry you find yourself here.
The big difference if you are not married is that there is no financial settlement like there is in divorce. For example, the house in which you live will be apportioned according to property law and not family law. This means that whoever is on the deeds owns the house. If both names are on it (unless there is a deed of trust stating otherwise) the division is 50:50. There are other issues surrounding this - including the need for housing for the parent with care and children - but these are dealt with using laws other than family law.
If only one party is named on the deeds, the other may be able to make a claim for beneficial interest. If you use the search bar at the top of the page, you will be able to find out more about this.
There are no rights to pension share or spousal maintenance like there would be on divorce but child maintenance still applies. For 3 children that would be 25% of net income from the non resident parent - but this can change depending on how many nights the children stay with each parent.