Family

Divorce and relationship breakdown

Divorce and relationship breakdown

If a marriage or civil partnership breaks down, it can be ended legally. Frequently this brings with it issues of finance, and also concerning children, which must be resolved. The Court can become involved in this if necessary.

Judicial Separation is available if your relationship has ended, but divorce is not appropriate. The process is identical (except that the legal relationship is not actually brought to an end) as are almost all the Court’s financial powers. It is quite rare.

A separation agreement is another possible approach. This has no initial Court involvement at all. It is simply a contract by which the parties agree issues that are of relevance to their particular situation. They might need one to govern a period of separation leading up to a divorce, which might set out who is to live where, and who is to pay for what. It might apply where the parties are neither married nor in a civil partnership at all.

If you are not married, you do not need the law to end your relationship, but its breakdown can bring with it identical legal issues to resolve, particularly if the relationship has lasted a while or has involved cohabitation (see below).

We are skilled and experienced in handling all such situations.


Cohabitation and the unmarried family

Fewer people are formalising their relationships by marriage and civil partnership than was ever the case before; more of us are simply choosing to live together, and approaching half of all children in the UK are born to parents who are neither married nor in a civil partnership. The breakdown of such a relationship can present all of the complex issues we see on divorce or civil partnership dissolution.

The big difference is the law, or the lack of it. The legislation that can be used by a couple who were in a marriage or a civil partnership is not available to a couple who are in neither. For them there is no provision in English law by which one party can obtain financial support from the other in their own right; such support has to form part of orders made for the benefit of the children of the family. Disputes about the division of property have to be resolved under principles of Trust and Property Law.

This means that people, often when at their most vulnerable, are faced with a daunting and complex series of steps to take to resolve financial issues with their former partner.

We are experienced in resolving these issues.

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We understand our clients’ needs and tailor our work to each set of circumstances, providing high quality, cost effective advice. We are a multi disciplinary practice and work collaboratively to provide a comprehensive service over all our practice areas.

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Jo Carr-West

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Jo Carr-West

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Hetty Gleave

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Hetty Gleave

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Henry Hood

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Henry Hood

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Richard Kershaw

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Richard Kershaw

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Jay Patel

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Jay Patel

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Hazel Wright

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Hazel Wright

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Anna Roiser

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Anna Roiser

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Amy Scollan

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Amy Scollan

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Alexandra Baggallay

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Alexandra Baggallay

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Rebecca Christie

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Rebecca Christie

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Nicole Derham

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Nicole Derham

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Latest Family Headlines

May 22, 2019
Henry Hood discusses the division of private corporate assets on divorce in Legalease’s Family Law Journal
May 17, 2019
Henry Hood wins the Career Achievement Award at the Citywealth Magic Circle Awards 2019
May 15, 2019
Hetty Gleave examines sensitive family proceedings and public confidence in The Times
May 10, 2019
Hetty Gleave comments on Sir Andrew McFarlane’s plans to boost news coverage of family court proceedings in Family Law Week
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Hetty Gleave and Anna Roiser discuss child maintenance and things to consider as summer approaches
May 03, 2019
Hunters’ Family Department featured in Spear’s Magazine
May 03, 2019
Henry Hood recommended in the Spear’s Indices 2019 for Family Lawyers 2019
Apr 30, 2019
Hazel Wright examines three cases that have proved useful to family lawyers regarding the Human Rights Act 1998 in Family Law Week
Apr 09, 2019
Henry Hood comments on the no-fault divorce reform in The Guardian
Apr 05, 2019
Jo Carr-West comments on a £1.3m divorce award despite signing a pre-nuptial agreement in Family Law Week
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