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Civil Partnership Dissolution Solicitors

Ending a civil partnership

Following the sad breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership, one or both of the parties will often want to move forward and start a new phase in their lives. Our team of civil partnership solicitors have extensive experience in advising on the best way forward for you.

We can also advise on your options if your relationship has broken down but you are not married or in a civil partnership, However the applicable law is not the same as for marriage or civil partnerships.

Legal basis for divorce

The legal position on divorce is governed by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. There are changes being implemented that will allow no-fault divorce but these are still making their way through Parliament.

Occasionally, and in rare cases (such as when a couple separate without ever living together at all), it is also possible to apply for an annulment but the process is not straightforward. However the divorce or civil partnership dissolution process that can be issued after the expiry of 12 months from the marriage or civil partnership is more straightforward.

The dissolution process

The issue of proceedings, whether for divorce or civil partnership dissolution paves the way for long term financial and child arrangements to be put in place by agreement or court order.

The first step is to consider how and when to start proceedings to achieve a divorce or civil partnership dissolution. We advise on what type of divorce or dissolution is the best option for you and where possible, how to achieve a divorce or dissolution in the least confrontational way. We aim to find a pragmatic solution appropriate for you.

We also advise on financial and child arrangements that may be put in place during separation and pending the divorce or dissolution.

The overriding requirement for a divorce or civil partnership dissolution, is that the marriage or civil partnership must have irretrievably breakdown and as supported by one of five facts:

  • You and your spouse or partner have separated and have lived separately for two years prior to the proceedings being issued and you both consent to the divorce or dissolution
  • Your spouse has committed adultery provided that an act of adultery has taken place within the six month period immediately before the application/petition for divorce
  • Your spouse or civil partner has deserted you for a period of at least three years prior to the issue of proceedings
  • Your spouse or civil partner has behaved unreasonably and the behaviour is such that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them. If appropriate, the conduct complained of can be expressed in relatively mild terms. If adultery is not appropriate, or cannot be established , your spouse or partner being in an inappropriate relationship, may also be regarded as an example of unreasonable behaviour.
  • You and your spouse or civil partner have been separated for a period of at least five years prior to the issue of the application. The consent of your spouse or partner is not required.

Progressing after the issue of divorce & dissolution proceedings

Once proceedings are underway, if financial matters have not been resolved between you and your spouse or civil partner to be recorded in a court order by consent, then either of you can apply to the court for financial remedy meaning the final financial arrangements to be made on divorce or dissolution. Applications for interim financial orders pending the divorce or dissolution can also be made.

How we can help you

Our City-based team of civil partnership lawyers include specialist partners with a combined knowledge of over 80 years of post-qualification experience covering a wide and extremely varied client base.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch on 020 7766 5260 , fill in our ‘How can we help’ form or get in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can't I just download the online application and do everything myself?

Not all divorces are straightforward and there are often complicated financial and children issues to be dealt with. In some cases there are complex jurisdiction issues to be considered. We can assist and advise you on the divorce or dissolution process and also advise and guide you on how to approach your divorce or dissolution to protect your position on children and financial issues.

Do I need to go to a court hearing to divorce?

No. The process in England and Wales is deliberately designed to be an administrative process and in most cases is relatively straightforward. I think we should add, however financial and children applications are often not that straightforward and can involve court hearings.

My spouse has said they will not sign the papers, what can I do?

Unlike you sometimes see in some films or on television, your spouse not signing the papers does not stop a divorce. You can apply to court for an order deeming that they have been served or, if you cannot find them, you can apply to dispense with service.

My spouse is an adulterer, if I write all about his adulteries in my petition, will I get more money?

No. A common misconception is that what you write on(in) a petition /divorce or dissolution application will affect your financial entitlement. In reality, it rarely does and the courts encourage parties to agree the grounds of petition if possible. The court also encourages parties not to name the individuals who committed adultery with your spouse/partner as it complicates the process and makes it more antagonistic and potentially more expensive.

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