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Lawyers For Separation – Specialist Family Law Solicitors for Separating CouplesLawyers For Separation. Specialist Solicitors. Photo of Separating Couple


After your divorce or separation there are likely to be many issues which will need to be resolved so that you can continue with your life. This page is all about some of the things separating couples need to think about, and how our separation solicitors can help with providing with the right specialist legal advice – and practical solutions.

Sympathetic legal advice from a specialist Family Lawyer at an early stage can put your mind at rest and help you understand your available options. And a separation agreement could help by setting out the ground rules between you.

Separating and worried about your legal position?  We offer a FREE initial phone call and FREE 30 minute face-to-face or video call appointment for all aspects of family law. call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or One of Our Local Office Numbers

Or click here to find out more about Divorce and how our family lawyers can help you

Common law marriage?

It’s a myth. Pure and simple. It just doesn’t exist – despite the fact that recent market research discovered that a remarkable two in three couples believed “common law marriage“ did exist and gave them automatic legal rights.

In reality, living together does not automatically give you any legal status. And yet more more people do cohabit – which has serious implications for their future financial security.

Living together – the risks caused by separation

When a couple separates after living together, there are plenty of practical and legal implications.

These include;

• Who ends up with your home whether you own or rent if you split up?

• If you are not married but are renting, and your name is not on the lease will you be homeless if you separate?

• If you are an unmarried father do you actually have any legal rights over your own children?

It always amazes our family lawyers how few people living together have actually taken any legal advice on their legal position from a specialist family solicitor.

The family homeThe family home. Legal Advice on Separation

In all likelihood, the most valuable asset you and your ex-partner share will be your property. It is therefore crucial that you are organised about property arrangements.

Following a relationship breakdown, you may decide to separate – in which case you will need to decide which of you should remain in the family home – and if they can afford to do so. Alternatively, you may decide jointly to sell the house and split the equity after separation.

Living alone as the only adult in the household will bring a 25% discount in council tax – so you need to inform your local council.

There are also various administrative tasks such as phoning utility companies to transfer accounts, altering insurance policies and making sure that mail is redirected to the correct address.

If the home was jointly owned by you and your ex-partner, you will need to decide if you are going to keep it in joint names, or if not who the property title is transferred to and on what terms. Remember that in doing so, you will need to secure permission from the mortgage lender. You will probably also need to make sure that there are no mortgage payments due.

If the property was rented, you must check the end date of the tenancy and who it will be transferred to. Again, you should ensure that there are no rent payments due.

Click here to read more about Joint Property Ownership Disputes and the differences between joint tenancy and tenancy in common

Separation and your Children

Our Family Lawyers understand that dealing with separation and its effects on children can prove very difficult And when separating, the most important thing to do is minimise the stress and anxiety for your children. That’s never easy. It’s a tough time for everyone.

However, it is really important for you, your ex-partner and your children to know who the children will live with, and for how long.

Recently there has been a significant move towards encouraging what is known as ‘co-parenting’. The principle of this is both shared and cooperative parenting The Family Courts have been very supportive of this approach. A written co-parenting agreement often helps to make everything crystal clear to both parties.

You and your ex-partner will also need to come to a decision about any maintenance payments needed to take care of the children. The children’s school, social worker and GP should also be made aware of the changes at home.

Click here to find out more about the law and children

Divorce Finances and  Separating Couples

There are several financial implications of separation because the chances are that your finances have become intertwined with your ex-partner’s finances to some degree. For example, it is likely that you will have some joint bank or building society accounts which you will no longer wish to share.

Separation will also affect the benefit you receive because you will no longer be living as a couple. The fact that you do not have the support of your partner’s wage may mean that you become eligible for other benefits.

You will also have to decide with your ex-partner how you will pay off any existing debts which you may have run up.

Click here to read more about divorce and financial arrangements

What is a separation agreement?

Whether separation looks likely to be permanent or on a trial basis, you might want to consider a separation agreement.  Our Separation Lawyers can help by formalising details of the separation in a Separation Agreement or Deed of Separation.

This is a legal document (and sometimes referred to as a deed of separation) which records any arrangements which you have both agreed upon. It’s surprising how often people misunderstand each other – so getting it clear and in writing, often really helps – and can play a significant part in keeping the temperature of the bust up under control by avoiding any misunderstanding at an early stage.

What should it contain? That really depends on your circumstances. But it’s worth considering details of the following:

• any initial financial agreement you have both come to

• what will happen to the family home- and who is going to pay the rent or the mortgage

• any agreed child maintenance

• arrangements for the children – including where they will be living and levels of contact with both parents.

Do they have to be long and complicated documents?

Some Separation Agreements are simple and concise, whereas others are far more complex. The complexity depends on what you and your former spouse decide to agree on. Separation Agreements become more important when it comes to money – especially when it comes to splitting assets, occupation of the family home or paying maintenance.

Can I get a separation agreement if we have just been living together?

Yes. Both married and unmarried couples can get a Separation Agreement – which creates the terms upon which you and your former partner have agreed to separate.

Is a separation agreement the same as a postnuptial agreement?

No, the two are different – click here to read about the differences with postnuptial agreements

Still can’t agree? Family mediation can help too

If you are unable to agree on any or just some of the above points then a family mediator can be really helpful on reaching an acceptable compromise solution.

During the mediation process, both partners will have an opportunity to voice exactly what they want, and what their personal concerns with the arrangements are. The mediator will use this information to help the parties reach an agreement. The presence of an independent and unprejudiced mind can prove invaluable for seeing through murky conflicts between resentful parties.
Click here to find out more about family mediation and how it could help you.

Separation, pensions and wills

If you have your ex partner listed as a beneficiary on your pension or your will, then you will probably want that to change that – which is likely to involve a new will.

Our 12 strong private client team can help with your will.
Click here to read more about making or updating your will

Separated and getting divorced can I change the locks on our home?

It is important to know the answer to this question, even if you are not planning on going through a divorce.

Whoever owns the property has a right to enter it. If you both own the property then your ex-partner still has the right to enter your home.
Click here to read more about Joint Property Ownership Disputes

When can you change the locks?

  • You have been threatened or intimidated
  • Your partner has physically assaulted you in some way
  • You have got a Court injunction against your partner, known as an Occupation Order. This order takes away their right to access your house

If the property is just in your name, you may be able to change the locks. However, your ex-partner may be able to apply for a Court Order to allow their re-entry to the property.

In cases of jointly-owned property, your former partner does have the right to come back into the property unless you have a Court Order to stop him or her from doing so.
Click here to find out more about how our Domestic Violence Solicitors can help you.

What is judicial separation?

As an alternative to divorce, couples can also obtain a Judicial Separation – a process similar to divorce but which leaves the couple legally married.
Click here to find out more about judicial separation

Getting divorced – need specialist family lawyers?

Where possible, it is a good idea to try and be reasonable with each other and get through your divorce amicably, though sadly that’s simply not possible for all separating couples. For example, if your partner poses no threat to you it may be best to let them in the house if they want to collect some of their possessions. This reasonable behaviour may spread to other parts of the divorce.

Going through divorce but still living together? 5 tips to make everyday life more bearable

If you are in the process of getting a UK divorce yet you and your spouse have to reside under the same roof, then life can be pretty tough.

However here are five tips to consider to help both of you survive during this difficult period. You might want to put them into a formal written agreement – so there is no misunderstanding between you.

• Tip 1
Agree on your day-to-day living arrangements. This is important for separating couples – so that neither of you do anything which, aggravates the situation. For example, decide where each partner is going to sleep, work and relax. The aim is not necessarily to stay out of each other’s way, but to avoid the time where conflict is most likely.

• Tip 2
Agree on who is responsible for different household chores and bills. It may be the case that you have now separated your finances, but you should still come to an agreement as to where to money for bills is going to come from. Everyday chores should be divided – and both partners should resist relying on one another for food or care.

• Tip 3
It is important to consider the future care of any children involved. It is never appropriate to create an atmosphere of resentment and distance if there are children living in the home with you. Children are sensitive and this kind of strained atmosphere can be really hard on them – and even damaging in the long term.

Where children are concerned it is normally best to avoid separating everything in your day-to-day life. For example, although it may be necessary to sleep in separate rooms, separate dinners and relaxing arrangements may be disruptive to the children. However, the most important thing is to not reflect your feelings about your partner or the stress of the divorce on to the lives of your children.

• Tip 4
Arrangements for selling the family home. Where necessary, try to agree a plan for selling your property, and if necessary splitting the equity. If the property is being viewed, make sure that either you or your partner is available to tidy the internal accommodation and show people around.

• Tip 5
Agree on what is acceptable and unacceptable social behaviour from both of you. For example, going out on a weekday evening and having respect for the partner that has work the next day. It may be a good idea to agree on what happens if one or the other finds another partner, for example that it may not be acceptable to bring that person back to the shared home.

Legal Advice for Separating Couples – contact our specialist Separation Lawyers now

Don’t forget – our family law team offer FREE initial phone advice and a FREE 1st  30 minute appointment on all family law issues.

To find how our Family Lawyers can help, get in touch with us today:

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    Divorce and Relationship Breakdown are always stressful. But don't make the matter worse by suffering in silence.

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