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Family Matters - RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS       01223 415372

Whether youíre married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting when a relationship comes to an end it can be an extremely distressing and confusing time. Many people experience relationship problems but a lot of people are unaware of the options available to them.


If you would like legal advice then please call or email our family lawyer, Bridget Giltinane on 01223 415372 or bridget.giltinane@smslaw.co.uk for initial free advice or alternatively to book an initial free appointment.

MARRIED

  1. Reconciliation and counselling with a view to saving the partnership. Obviously, this will have to be a joint decision

  2. An informal separation. This does not involve Court proceedings but you can formalise financial issues and matters regarding the children by entering into a Separation Agreement which is a form of contract. The Separation Agreement serves the purpose of recording the fact that you have decided to live separate lives. However, you must both consent to the drafting of such a document. It must be borne in mind that once a Separation Agreement has been signed, it does not necessarily preclude either one of you from making a further financial claim against the other within divorce proceedings at a later date. The Separation Agreement would certainly assist you with demonstrating your intentions at the time the Agreement was signed and generally record the fact that the agreement reached was in full and final settlement.

  3. Judicial Separation. This is a legal separation that involves Court proceedings and the end result is that you receive a decree stating that you are officially separated although, you are still married.

  4. Divorce. There is only one ground for commencing divorce proceedings and that is irretrievable breakdown of marriage. You must evidence this breakdown by relying on one of five different facts:

    1.  Adultery

    2.  Unreasonable Behaviour

    3.  Desertion

    4.  Two years separation with consent

    5.  Five years separation

    If you issue divorce proceedings then you will need your marriage certificate. We offer a fixed fee undefended divorce / dissolution and further information regarding our fees is available on in our Fees section.


If you would like legal advice then please call or email our family lawyer, Bridget Giltinane on 01223 415372 or bridget.giltinane@smslaw.co.uk for initial free advice or alternatively to book an initial free appointment.

CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS

If you have entered in to a civil partnership with your partner and your relationship breaks down, the options available to you include:

  1. Reconciliation and counselling with a view to saving the partnership. Obviously, this will have to be a joint decision

  2. An informal separation. This does not involve Court proceedings but you can formalise financial issues and matters regarding the children by entering into a Separation Agreement which is a form of contract and is enforceable through the Courts if the terms are not adhered to. The Deed serves the purpose of recording the fact that you have decided to live separate lives. However, you must both consent to the drafting of such a document. It must be borne in mind that once a Separation Agreement has been signed, it does not necessarily preclude either one of you from making a further financial claim against the other within dissolution proceedings at a later date. The Agreement would certainly assist you with demonstrating your intentions at the time the Agreement was signed and generally record the fact that the Agreement reached was in full and final settlement.

If you want to end your civil partnership you need to get permission from a court. There are different ways you can ask a court to end your civil partnership. You can ask the court to grant:

  1. Dissolution order. Your civil partnership must have lasted for at least one year before you can apply for a dissolution order. There is only one ground for commencing dissolution proceedings and that is irretrievable breakdown of your partnership. You must evidence this breakdown by relying on one of four different facts:

    1.  Unreasonable Behaviour

    2.  Desertion

    3.  Two years separation with consent

    4.  Five years separation

  2. Separation order. You don't have to wait until your civil partnership has lasted for a year before you can apply for a separation order and you donít have to have been living apart either. You can apply for a separation order at any time and the same facts as the dissolution order will need to be proved.

  3. Annulment. This is more rare however please speak to Bridget Giltinane if you would like further information or advice on this.


If you would like legal advice then please call or email our family lawyer, Bridget Giltinane on 01223 415372 or bridget.giltinane@smslaw.co.uk for initial free advice or alternatively to book an initial free appointment.

UNMARRIED PARTNERS (COHABITATION)

If you live with your partner and are not married or have not entered into a civil partnership then your legal rights and entitlements are based upon the law of contract, rather than Family Law (except matters relating to children). If you do not wish to enter into a marriage or civil partnership but want to provide for one another in the event the relationaship breaks down,. please see Cohabitee Agreements. If your relationship has broken down, and if you both don't wish to reconcile, then please call to arrange a free initial appointment when we can discuss your options. The law in this area is fairly confusing and complex and we would suggest that you take legal advice.

Further information can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights


If you would like legal advice then please call or email our family lawyer, Bridget Giltinane on 01223 415372 or bridget.giltinane@smslaw.co.uk for initial free advice or alternatively to book an initial free appointment.

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