​Relationship breakdown, divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships

When faced with divorce, separation or civil partnership dissolution it can be a confusing and anxious time. You will have difficult and sometimes distressing decisions to make about your children and or assets (such as property or earnings). Our experienced family lawyers can provide you with the clear advice and support necessary to help you navigate what can appear complicated divorce laws and separation laws, to protect your interests and to help you plan for the future.

We want to make your relationship breakdown as painless as possible. Our experienced family law divorce team includes mediators and collaboratively trained lawyers, who are specialists in helping you and your partner resolve resulting issues through negotiated agreement.

The divorce process begins when you or your partner file a petition stating why your marriage has broken down. This could include adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion for a specified period, a two year separation on a consensual basis or a five year period of separation. Within divorce law, there are two types of decree (court decision) – nisi (a conditional ruling) and absolute.

An unopposed divorce takes approximately 3-4 months from the date that you or your partner’s petition is filed with the court to the pronouncement of decree nisi. The Petitioner then has to wait a minimum of 6 weeks and 1 day before they can apply for the decree absolute. Upon pronouncement of the decree absolute your marriage is formally dissolved.

However, it is often resolving the issues that arise from a separation or civil partnership divorce that result in protracted Court cases. Wherever possible, we work with you to try and avoid lengthy and expensive legal proceedings If your relationship breakdown is amicable, you may find that you are able to agree a way forward without the intervention of the Court.

If there are particular issues requiring the Court’s intervention, such as deciding on the sale of a property, with whom your children should live, or determining you or your partner’s entitlement to ongoing financial support, we will provide you with the advice and support you require to guide you through those difficult proceedings and to protect your best interests before the Court.