Relationship Breakdown

We understand that the breakdown of a relationship can be a challenging and stressful time. Our highly professional and experienced team are on-hand to help make the process as straight-forward as it can be for our clients.

Relationships can breakdown for a number of reasons, and typically involve either divorce, judicial separation or the dissolution of a civil partnership. We can help guide you through the most appropriate course of action for your circumstances.

We have provided a summary of each of the three types of formal separation below. For more detailed information, or to find out how we can support you during this difficult time, please download the relevant factsheet or contact us directly.

Divorce

Anyone who has been married for over one year, and is ‘domiciled’ or resident in England or Wales for the preceding year, can commence divorce proceedings where there is an ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’. This must be proved through one of the following facts:

  • Adultery of the spouse (not applicable in civil partnerships)
  • Unreasonable behaviour of the spouse
  • Two years separation with the consent of the spouse (parties have not lived together for two years before filing the petition)
  • Five years separation (parties have not lived together for two years before filing the petition)
  • Desertion by your spouse for a period of at least two years.

Further details relating to divorce proceedings, timescales and costs can be found by downloading our factsheet from this page, or by speaking to one of our specialist team as detailed below.

Judicial separation

If you have not been married for a year, or if one party is opposed to the divorce, you may choose to apply for a judicial separation. Whilst in this case, the Court will declare that the parties no longer have a duty to cohabit, it does not dissolve the marriage and as such the parties are not free to remarry.

The procedure is similar to that of divorce, and one of the five facts to show that there is an ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’ must also be proved.

For further information relating to the process, timescales and costs of a judicial separation, please download our factsheet from this page.

Civil partnership

Since 5 December 2005, same sex couples have been able to obtain legal recognition of their relationship through a Civil Partnership. Where the relationship has broken down, the couple may end their partnership through the Courts, with a ‘Dissolution’.

As with divorce, the parties cannot apply for the dissolution of a civil partnership for one year from the date of entering into the partnership, and the parties must prove that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. The facts relied upon are the same as for divorce, with the exception of adultery, which is not applicable in this case.

For further information relating to the process, timescales and costs relating to the dissolution of a civil partnership, please download our factsheet from this page.

 
 

Events & Insights

The perils of DIY divorce

With the internet becoming the first source of information for many people going through a medium or low asset divorce, there is an increase in the use of DIY divorce kits.  The DIY kit offers the promise of a divorce free from solicitors’ fees, form filling and Court hearings.  They seem too good to be true and the reality is that we are already starting to see what will become

Read More
 
 

Aileen Hartnett

Partner

Aileen is the Head of Taylor Walton’s Family Law team and has in excess of 35 years’ experience in family law.  As a family law specialist Aileen specialises in:

  • Divorce
  • Financial issues arising on divorce
  • Dispute between parents relating to residence and contact with their children
  • Cohabitation disputes and financial issues arising
  • Advising on pre and post nuptial agreements

In addition to dealing with cases litigated through the courts Aileen is a trained Collaborative Lawyer since 2005.

 
 

The Team

Please see details of our team in the scrolling bar below. Click on any image to read full biographies of our team members.

View all staff
 
 

Testimonials

Your help was invaluable…thanks for all your help and advice.