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Divorce and Separation Agreements

If your marriage has run its course and you are ready to start moving into the next phase of your life, our top team of family law solicitors can help you get a divorce.

We understand that the process can be daunting and if you have children, you will likely be concerned about the impact it will have on them. We are known for our empathetic yet practical approach to divorce matters. If you are currently unsure whether divorce is the right long-term solution for your family, we can also advise about legal separations which have similar effects to divorce without officially ending your marriage.

We will aim to make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible. As members of Resolution, we are known for helping individuals find positive solutions to divorce related issues (such as finances and childcare arrangements) without going anywhere near a courtroom.

We can help you by:

  • Advising you on divorce and your options
  • Preparing your divorce petition and dealing with the court process for you
  • Drafting your Separation Deed
  • Advising you on the costs involved

If you require further advice or would like to discuss arranging an initial meeting with a member of our family team, please contact us on 01689 887885 or fill in our Enquiry Form.

Our divorce and separation services

Divorce

To obtain a divorce you must show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. You can do this by proving one of five grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Two years separation with your spouse’s consent
  • Five years separation without consent
  • Desertion.

To petition for a divorce on the ground of ‘unreasonable behaviour’ you will need to give examples of behaviour by your spouse that you as an individual find unreasonable.

A divorce usually takes between 5 and 6 months in straightforward cases.

‘No-fault’ divorce

From Autumn 2021, no-fault divorce is going to be introduced and the five grounds for divorce will be abolished. All petitioners will need to do to get a divorce is to provide statement that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that it will no longer be possible for one party to object to the divorce because they disagree with the reason provided.

For the vast majority of couples, there is no point waiting for no-fault divorce to come in. If both you and your spouse agree to the divorce, the judge will not question the reasons provided. However, in rare circumstances, it may be beneficial to wait until no-fault divorce comes in, for example, if you can only rely on the separation facts so cannot get a divorce straight away.

We can provide further advice on this, particularly if you are concerned that your divorce petition will be challenged by the spouse.

Divorce and finances

During the divorce process, you and your spouse will need to decide how to divide and arrange your finances, such as whether you should sell the family home and how you should split savings and pensions. Your finances will be dealt with separately to the divorce and the Decree Absolute (final divorce) is often deferred until the finances have been resolved.

For further information, please visit our division of assets on divorce or dissolution page.

Arrangements for children

With our help, most parents are able to come to a voluntary arrangement about where the children should live and make key decisions such as where they will go to school. This can make the divorce process much easier on your children. However, wherever necessary we can also help you take court action to ensure that the final outcome is in the best interests of your children.

For further information, please visit our children issues page.

Separation Agreements

If you and your spouse have separated but do not wish to divorce yet, or wish to wait until you have been separated for two years, you could sign and execute a Deed of Separation setting out the agreement you have reached. This would include a clause that you both agree to put the agreement into a Consent Order for the court when you divorce in the future.

A Deed of Separation is usually binding in future divorce proceedings, unless there is a significant change in circumstances. You should both seek independent legal advice and give full financial disclosure in order to ensure that the Deed is as binding as possible.

Contact our divorce solicitors in Orpington

If you require further advice or would like to discuss arranging an initial meeting with a member of our family team, please contact us on 01689 887885 or fill in our Enquiry Form.