If you are not married and are not in a civil partnership and either you or your partner have decided that they wish to file for a separation then there will be no requirement for you to file any papers in Court to formally end your relationship.

Our team of family lawyers will however be able to assist you in trying to reach a settlement and to try to reach an agreement relating to arrangements for any of your children.

Separation

Divorce Proceedings

If you are married or have a civil partnership then if either party wishes to end the relationship this must be done by way of filing a divorce petition via a court portal.

Our experienced divorce lawyers understand how traumatic such a step can be whether you are filing a divorce petition or whether you are the recipient of a divorce petition.

This is not made any easier by the fact until April 2022, in in order to obtain a divorce you must:-

(a) be married for at least 12 months; and

(b) prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably by proving that you satisfy at least one of the following facts:-

(i) The adultery fact – you must establish that the other party has committed adultery and that you find it intolerable to live with the other party.

(ii) The unreasonable behaviour fact – you must establish that the other party has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with the other party;

(iii) The Desertion fact– you must establish that the other party has deserted you for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition;

(iv) The 2 years separation by consent fact – you must establish that you have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition and that the other party consent to the decree;

(v) The 5 years separation fact – you must establish that you have both lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.

If you are the recipient of a petition based on any of the above facts you are able to defend the petition if you wish.

Our experienced and fully qualified family lawyers will be able to guide you through all the procedures to enable you to make the decision that is best for you bearing in mind all the circumstances of the case.

Divorce and separation can be an extremely difficult time for the children and we at Atkinsons Law recognise this.

We aim to ensure that you are advised fully on the current law relating to children and work with you to ensure that the transition period is as painless as possible for the children.

We will assist you in trying to reach an agreement with your partner relating to the arrangements for the children but in the event of you being unable to agree matters either with our assistance or through mediation, then you can make an application to the local Family Court for an order in relation to the children.

An order in relation to the children is called a Child Arrangements Order and the Court can make numerous orders ranging from orders detailing who the child or children will live with, how often the child or children should spend with one parent , and other orders, including orders relating to such topics as which school the children should attend, which religion the children should be raised in and whether the children can be removed from the jurisdiction of the Court.

The list above is not exhaustive and the team at Atkinsons Law are committed to advising you from the outset of the choices which are available to you to ensure that you make the right choice for you and your children.

Atkinsons specialise in all aspects of child law, understanding the sensitivity and expertise required when dealing with what is in the best interests of children. Regularly instructed to represent parents, our team also has extensive expertise in representing the children both through their court appointed guardians and in certain circumstances, on the young person’s direct instructions.

Children

Finances

If you are married or a party to a civil partnership you may be entitled to financial support known as maintenance or you may be obliged to pay maintenance to your spouse/civil partner. If you are not married or in a civil partnership then subject to certain exceptions you would not normally be responsible for payment of any maintenance to your former partner or indeed be entitled to receive any maintenance from them.

If you are married or a party to a civil partnership the Court will try to divide the assets in as fair a way as possible and will generally look as a starting point, to divide the assets equally.

If you are not married or not a party to a civil partnership but either you or your former partner have assets, under certain circumstances you may have a claim to your partner’s assets or they may have a claim to some of your assets.

The law relating to finances on separation is complicated and it is therefore important that you receive the correct advice at the outset.  We at Atkinsons Law feel confident that with our team of  experienced family lawyers we can give you the best advice at the outset of your case.

We recognise that the cost of resolving a breakdown in a relationship can be costly.

We do our upmost to ensure that you receive realistic estimates of your costs from day one and will keep you advised of what costs you are incurring and will also agree, where possible, terms of payment to make it as affordable as possible.

This way there will be no hidden costs and you can proceed with confidence that you have received the best estimate for your future costs.

Costs