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Divorce and Family Law

Separation, Divorce, Dissolution of Civil Partnership

If you are considering any of these you need the help and advice of an expert family lawyer

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If you are considering separation, divorce or the dissolution of your civil partnership, there are many different issues for you to consider and we would advise you to consult an experienced family lawyer before you begin the process.

Separation agreements

Sometimes couples will separate, but do not feel ready to bring an end to their marriage through a divorce or dissolution of their civil partnership.

Many prefer to wait and take some time to consider their future, but while waiting may seem the most non-confrontational option, it can come with certain risks, namely lack of financial certainty and security.

A separation agreement entered into by both parties is an agreement setting out how the couple’s assets should be divided and whether there should be any ongoing financial support. The agreement can be tailored to the couple’s individual circumstances and can include for example who is to pay certain debts or how chattels are to be divided.

While separation agreements provide a better option than doing nothing, it is important to remember that they are not binding.  However, if the separation agreement has been properly drawn up with full financial disclosure and certain other safeguards have been met (such as the agreement does not unduly prejudice one party, and there has been no pressure put on either side to go along with the agreement) then the court could hold the parties to it unless their circumstances have changed substantially since the agreement was signed.

A separation agreement may also prove extremely useful should you apply jointly for a no-fault divorce.


New legislation was introduced on 6 April 2022 to bring in what is called no-fault divorce. In essence, this means that spouses no longer need to assign blame in order to be granted a divorce if they haven’t been separated for two years or more.

The previous divorce law required the petitioner in the divorce to rely on one of five facts to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Two of the five facts (below) were fault-based:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Two years’ separation with the Respondent’s consent
  • Five years’ separation
  • Desertion

It was felt that the previous law may have fuelled conflict by forcing one party to blame the other if they wished to avoid waiting two years before presenting a divorce petition to the court, and so the new legislation is welcome. Divorce or dissolution can be a very stressful time for all concerned and to take the rancour and ill-feeling out of the process is a positive move. 

Other changes include:

  • A 20-week timescale between issue of the petition and the first stage of the divorce, (the conditional order), to provide a period of reflection, and a six-week timescale from conditional order to final order. Therefore, there’s a minimum timeframe of about six months from the date the petition is issued to final order
  • The application for divorce can be withdrawn at any time
  • Complex legal jargon is avoided within the divorce process, making it easier to understand
  • The opportunity to contest the divorce has been removed, but there are still some legal grounds for challenging the divorce if needed
  • There’s a choice between initiating the application for divorce jointly or on a sole application basis

Dissolution of Civil Partnerships

We have extensive experience in dealing with all issues relating to same sex couples, from negotiating pre-marriage and pre-civil partnership agreements to negotiating through the separation, divorce and dissolution process. Since December 2005, it has been possible for same sex couples to enter into a civil partnership and since 29 March 2014 same sex couples have been able to get married.

Civil partnership is akin to a civil marriage and, in almost all respects, is legally equivalent:

  • Civil partners enjoy the same tax treatment as married couples
  • Civil partners can acquire parental responsibility for each other’s children in the same way as married couples
  • Civil partners may adopt a child or apply for a parental order (in respect of a surrogate child) in the same way as a married couple
  • The divorce process (known as dissolution) is the same as for divorce although the grounds for dissolution are slightly different
  • Financial settlements on dissolution of a civil partnership are the same as on divorce
  • Civil partnership agreements are treated in the same way as marriage agreements (pre-nuptial agreements)

If you would like to know more, contact us on 03333 058375 to speak to one of our expert lawyers, or email family@psg-law.co.uk We are here to help you.

Power of Five

We work closely with our colleagues in Wealth Protection to ensure you receive the best possible advice and guidance across issues including that pertain to your separation, divorce or dissolution of Civil Partnership. Please get in touch with one of our expert family law team members today on 03333 058375, or email family@psg-law.co.uk to discuss your options.

Meet the team

  • Nicholas Clough

    Partner, Head of Divorce & Family Law

    Nicholas Clough

    t:07538 385956

    e: nicholas.clough@psg-law.co.uk

  • Carole Nettleton

    Consultant, Divorce & Family Law

    Carole Nettleton

    t:07958 028069

    e: carole.nettleton@psg-law.co.uk

  • Jackie Rawcliffe

    Consultant, Divorce & Family Law

    Jackie Rawcliffe

    t:01244 956686

    e: jackie.rawcliffe@psg-law.co.uk

What our clients say about us...

  • “Nicholas Clough dealt with my case efficiently and thoroughly. I am so grateful for all his hard work and support and would recommend him to others.” Mr H


  • I just wanted to say, thank you so much for all your help and support the last few months. I have appreciated everything you have done for me and for listening to me. I don't know what I would have done, without your help.” J.S.


  • “I would recommend this service to everyone, exceptional service.” Ms S


  • I highly recommend Carole for her responsive, professional guidance and immense support. I couldn’t do this without her.” Ms G


  • “It’s been a long road and I couldn’t have navigated it without you. Thank you for all of the hours you have dedicated to this and also for your professionalism and passion for reaching a fair result. You have been such an emotional strength to me, I will never forget it.” Ms B


Divorce and Family Law FAQs

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Why Choose Price Slater Gawne

  • 01


    We are forward-thinking lawyers who always put the client first.

  • 02


    Client excellence is at the core of everything we do: it is the heart and soul of our firm.

  • 03


    Our expertise is sought by clients throughout the United Kingdom.

  • 04


    We act with integrity, putting your welfare and satisfaction front and centre of everything we do.

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