Thanks for your question.
1.Yes, your physical separation would count as evidence of the separation for the purpose of proving that you have been separated as man and wife for the requisite two year period provided that during this physical separation you have not been in a relationship akin to a married couple (eg. In the emotional sense).
2. You can file acting on your own behalf. Judges appreciate that not everyone wishes to instruct solicitors. Plenty of info for lay persons petition without representation here:-
You will have to instruct a conveyancing solicitor to deal with the transfer of the properties in to your sole name but before you reach that stage in your divorce you should agree to instruct a family solicitor to draft a consent order setting out the terms of the financial settlement so that you can submit it to the judge. It won't cost a great deal and having a court order prevents a party from revisiting the issue of settlement in the future and incurring legal fees in sorting it out.
In order to do what you propose in the simplest way you would each have to receive a mortgage offer in your sole names so that the properties can be remortgaged/transferred by your conveyancing solicitor appropriate. If you cannot receive mortgage offers in your sole names then you will have to negotiate an alternative settlement.
If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question.
I will answer your follow up questions you may have.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).