Expert, pragmatic advice on reaching a separation agreement
Whether you’re married, in a civil partnership or living together, choosing to separate is an incredibly difficult and emotional decision. At a time when you’re already distressed, separating your assets, debts and responsibilities can be extremely hard to manage without input from an experienced separation solicitor.
Our family law team has the experience to recommend the right approach for your personal situation, and will put your children’s best interests first at all times. To arrange your initial consultation with a separation solicitor, call 0800 422 0123 or contact us online.
On this page
- Who we can help
- Separation if you’re married
- Separation agreements
- Separation if you’re cohabiting
- Why choose our separation solicitors?
- Relationship breakdown tool
Who our separation solicitors can help
Our separation solicitors can help you arrange a legal separation, set up solutions to protect your children’s welfare and organise financial matters.
- If you’re married or in a civil partnership, we can help you with separation agreements and financial arrangements.
- If you’re unmarried, we can help you with cohabitation agreements and disputes.
- If you have children, we can help you with arrangements for children.
Separating when you’re married or in a civil partnership
If you’re married but have decided to separate because you don’t want a divorce or aren’t ready to divorce, you still need to make important decisions about your children, finances, and property.
A separation agreement can clearly define what happens to your property, finances and children after you split up.
While not legally binding, if you go on to divorce, a separation agreement can carry sway with the Courts and help simplify divorce proceedings, provided you have both taken legal advice, fully disclosed your financial situation and signed it of your own free will.
Arrangements for children when you separate
When you separate, you will both be required to support your children financially and put plans in place for their welfare and contact with both parents. Seeking advice from our expert separation solicitors at the beginning can help to address uncertainty and provide reassurance to everyone involved.
We understand that arrangements for children are usually the most contentious and upsetting area to agree. As your solicitor, we can ensure negotiations are handled sensitively while keeping your children’s best interests front and centre at all times.
Separation and property ownership
If you jointly own property with your partner, you will need to agree whether one of you remains in the property or whether it needs to be sold and the proceeds divided between you.
If a property is in your name, your ex-partner may be able to claim either part of the property’s value or the right to stay. If so, we can help you take urgent steps to protect your property or your rights, such as registering it or ring-fencing the equity in it.
Separating when you’re cohabiting
When separating from a long-term partner you live with, the law does not protect you in the same way it would if you were married. No matter how long you’ve lived together, you do not have the same rights or claims as if you were married. This can make agreeing the division of finances, property and access to children more complicated.
Seeking legal advice can help you reach a mutually agreeable arrangement and resolve any disputes as they arise.
In the eyes of the law, when you are unmarried and separate, you will not be entitled to a share of any of your partner’s assets. The only way to ensure you will be is to have a formal document or agreement in place stating otherwise.
A cohabitation agreement gives you both the opportunity to decide how any property, assets or responsibilities would be split if you separated, reducing the chance of confusion or disagreements if your relationship breaks down in the future.
Separating when you’re unmarried and have children together
If you’re unmarried and have children, parental responsibility and ultimate power to make decisions about the children will automatically rest with the mother, unless the father is named on the child’s birth certificate.
Our expert separation solicitors and family mediators can help you agree how you will co-parent and resolve any disputes to reassure you and your children about the future.
Dividing assets when you’re unmarried
As a cohabiting couple without any legal rights to property, pensions and spousal maintenance, dividing your assets when you separate has the potential to become complicated and contentious.
Our solicitors understand the difficulties you may have to overcome when your relationship breaks down after living together for many years, particularly if you don’t have a cohabitation agreement. We can advise you on the best way to divide your assets fairly and can also call on the expertise of our specialist colleagues to advise on any specific property, tax and litigation issues.
Why choose our separation solicitors
- Recognised for our expertise by The Legal 500 and Chambers UK
- Members of Resolution, the national body of family lawyers committed to handling disputes constructively
- Collaborative, pragmatic and empathetic approach, with trained family mediators on our team
- Transparent fees and tight control of costs at all times
- Trusted national law firm with specialist solicitors able to advise you on any legal issue that arises from your separation
Try our relationship breakdown tool
Our Parting Ways tool is a great first step in guiding you through the legalities of a relationship breakdown. If your marriage, civil partnership or co-habiting relationship has broken down irreparably, our free easy-to-use tool will give you an overview of what you need to consider from a legal perspective.
It only takes a few minutes to complete, and you will not be asked for any personal information unless you decide you would like to speak with one of our solicitors.
Speak to a specialist separation solicitor
For legal advice on separating from your partner, call 0800 422 0123 or contact us online to arrange a confidential consultation. We have specialist separation solicitors in Bristol, Birmingham, London, Manchester, Cardiff, Southampton and Taunton.