Topic overview

Divorce and family law

Sad young woman sits looking at her wedding ring with man in the background

Whether you are married, living together or separated, relationship problems are inevitably difficult to deal with. Disputes over finances or children only add to your worries

Support and advice can help you make the best of a bad situation. The more you can co-operate with each other, the better - the right approach can help you reach a reasonable agreement with as little upset as possible.

Getting a divorce

In many cases, bringing a marriage to an end (or dissolving a civil partnership) is a relatively straightforward process.

The divorce process involves filing the appropriate forms with the court (along with court fees). Since 6 April 2022, divorce has been on a 'no-fault' basis, to encourage amicable proceedings.

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Finances and children

Reaching agreement on finances and children can be much more difficult. Problems can arise not only in divorce but when unmarried couples separate - and often afterwards as well, when former partners fail to stick to their agreements or circumstances change.

Divorce or separation is likely to mean that you are both worse off as you face the increased costs of running two separate households. You will need to be ready to compromise so that you can reach a fair financial settlement.

If children are involved, you must try to work out a solution that is in their best interests. Whatever has happened to the relationship between the two of you, you are both likely to continue to be involved in your children's lives in the future.

Help and advice

You need to understand the legal position and whether you should use a family law lawyer. But you will also want emotional support - from your family and friends, and perhaps from a professional relationship counsellor.

The more you can do to get the right help and advice, the easier it will be to get through.

Reviewed by Stowe Family Law.

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