Not everyone who makes an appointment with a family solicitor is looking for a divorce. Our expert family lawyers can also advise you on other separation options.
We can refer you to marriage guidance counselling services or, if you prefer, an individual counsellor. They’ll talk to you about any chance of reconciliation. If there isn’t any, they’ll be able offer you support during the separation process.
If you need it, we can help you draft an informal agreement called a separation agreement. These are contracts that set out arrangements for your finances (and children) without involving the court.
Separation agreements are a good idea if you both think there’s a chance of a reconciliation. They allow you to concentrate on rebuilding your relationship without the stress caused by financial disputes.
If you later choose to divorce, you can ask the court to create a court order and approve the separation agreement as a final arrangement. However, it’s not guaranteed that they’ll approve it, because circumstances may have changed in the intervening period.
Some couples opt for a judicial separation. This does not legally end your marriage, but it does allow you to resolve your finances with a final court order and preserves your right to a widow or widower’s pension on the death of your spouse. Because you’re still legally married, however, neither of you can re-marry.
You can divorce later if you want, but the ongoing financial arrangements may need to be reviewed or the court may simply approve them as a final order.
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