To begin divorce proceedings you must show that your marriage or civil partnership has irretrievably broken down for one of the following reasons:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Adultery (marriage cases only)
- Desertion, followed by two years separation
- Two years separation by consent
- Five years separation
Divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership is a life-changing decision and you will naturally want to take stock of all your options. If haven’t yet made a decision, you can have a Separation Agreement drawn up. This sets out your financial responsibilities, child care arrangements and what happens to joint assets, until you decide whether to proceed with your divorce or dissolution.
You can also use a Separation Agreement if you are not able to divorce or dissolve your civil partnership - perhaps because you have been together for less than one year - but want to agree who pays what.
Separation Agreements are commonly used to record financial settlement terms during the two year separation period before a divorce can be started.
If there are children involved we would advise you to try and agree care arrangements without involving the courts. This could be through mediation or collaborative practice. However, if you are not able to resolve the situation we will advise you of all options available to you, prioritising the interests of your children at all times.