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Civil Partnership Dissolution.

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.

Do you think you need legal help with your Civil Partnership Dissolution

Call the family law team to discuss your options

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7870 3877

or email:

Legal basis for divorce

The legal position on divorce is governed by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which has been subsequently amended by the The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (ie: often referred to as the “’No-fault’ Divorce Act”).

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.

Progressing after the issue of divorce and 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.

“If a marriage or civil partnership terminates by divorce or dissolution, the court has power to redistribute the assets between the parties.”

Sir James Munby, formerly President of the Family Division*

*(from “Changing families: family law yesterday, today and tomorrow – a view from south of the Border”, Delivered at the Law School, University of Edinburgh, on 20 March 2018, retrieved at:

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

    Not all dissolutions 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. However, financial and children applications are often not that straightforward and can involve court hearings.

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

    Unlike you sometimes see in some films or on television, your partner 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.