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Advice for you

Civil Partnership Dissolution

Relationship breakdowns can be traumatic. Naturally, you will be concerned about your finances and property arrangements. You will need support and guidance through the process from solicitors who are experienced in dealing with civil partnerships.

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There are normally two aspects to dissolving a civil partnership. The first concerns the process of dissolving the civil partnership and the second involves the allocation of financial resources to each of you as a consequence of dissolution.

We are experienced in advising clients faced with complex financial and emotional situations. We aim to provide sympathetic and tailored advice to help you on the road to a brighter future.

DOWNLOAD OUR FACTSHEET ON DISSOLUTION OF CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS

Book a free appointment

Frettens are pleased to offer a free initial appointment for all new clients. We recognise the importance for clients of deciding whether they can work with a particular solicitor and to find out more about the process and likely outcome. Our family lawyers offer positive, down to earth advice, and we hope that this initial meeting allows you the time to see this as well.

Frequently asked questions about Civil Partnership Dissolution

What is the civil partnership dissolution process?

There are normally two aspects to dissolving a civil partnership. The first concerns the process of dissolving the civil partnership and the second involves the allocation of financial resources to each of you as a consequence of dissolution.

How much does a dissolution cost?

A fee of £550 must be paid to the court to issue the dissolution petition, this also covers the cost of the Final Order. Solicitors fees vary and also depend of whether you are the petitioner (the person issuing the dissolution petition) or the respondent (the person responding to the petition). We offer a fixed fee dissolution of £500 (plus VAT currently at 20%) plus the £550 court fee. This is a full service for an undefended dissolution.

Is dissolution the only way?

No. Where relevant, we will explain to you the availability of counselling and mediation services that may help with reconciliation or we will consider how to formalise your separation without court proceeding

What is a separation agreement?

If you are thinking about getting divorced, or dissolving your civil partnership, but haven’t yet filed the papers, you can get a separation agreement drawn up. This sets out who will pay the rent or mortgage and bills, until you decide whether to proceed with your divorce or dissolution.

How does a separation agreement work?

A separation agreement is useful if you haven’t yet made a final decision on whether to divorce, or if you cannot divorce yet. It’s a written agreement that, typically, sets out your financial arrangements while you are separated. It can cover a range of areas, including:

  • Who pays the mortgage or rent, and household bills
  • Who continues to live in the family home and / or what happens if it’s sold
  • What happens to any debts, such as loans or overdrafts
  • What happens to any savings, investments and other financial assets
  • What happens to any items such as cars or furniture, especially those bought jointly
  • Whether maintenance is paid to support one of you and / or any children
  • Childcare arrangements: who the children live with and parental access

If you are planning to make your separation permanent, the separation agreement should ideally set out the final financial agreement that will be presented to the court when the divorce finally goes through.

Is a separation agreement legally enforceable?

Technically, separation agreements are not legally enforceable. Family Solicitor and Associate at Frettens, Andrew Stynes, explains “Whilst the agreement is not legally enforceable, if you have both been open and honest about your finances and have each taken independent legal advice about the agreement, it could be hard for you to argue in court that you should not have to stick to it. However, a court would not allow either of you to be bound by a term in the separation agreement that said, for example, that you could never go to court for maintenance or child support.”

What are the advantages of a separation agreement?

Pros:

  • It shows that you both consider the relationship to have ended and the date that it ended
  • You agree that you don’t have to live together, so your ex-husband / wife cannot allege later on that you have deserted them (and vice versa)
  • It is flexible – you can decide what you would like to include 
  • It gives you both clarity and certainty – you will both know where you stand 
  • If you stick to it, an agreement can take the heat out of the breakdown of the relationship
  • They are not technically legally binding, however, separation agreements which have been properly and fairly negotiated, will be upheld by the court if they are later challenged

What are the disadvantages of a separation agreement?

Cons

  • It is not easy to enforce
  • It can only be changed if both of you agree to the changes
  • A court might disregard some or all of its contents if you go on to divorce – it’s not the final word

    Contact us if you would like a free initial appointment with a member of our Family Team at our Christchurch office, with no obligation or charge. Call on 01202 499255 or fill out the form on the right.

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