Navigating divorce, separation, and dissolution matters can be intricate, often entailing various family law issues. Our dedicated team of divorce lawyers approach each client’s case with sensitivity to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Individuals facing divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership encounter unique challenges. That’s why we offer a complimentary 30-minute initial consultation to establish and understand your needs so we can steer you through the legal complexities and emotional hurdles that come with ending a marriage or civil partnership.
Divorce and Dissolution Legal Services
At DTM Legal, our Family Law team operates on a consultative basis, providing expert legal advice tailored to your specific desires and requirements. Our divorce, separation, and dissolution services include:
Since the introduction of “no fault” divorce in April 2022, it is no longer necessary to blame your husband or wife in order to secure a divorce, rather you just need to confirm that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. Most divorce proceedings are therefore not disputed but you may still need specialist family law advice on where and when to start your divorce for example, or whether there may be consequences for you in finalising your divorce before financial issues are resolved.
You will need to have been married for at least one year before you can start divorce proceedings but then, our team can help you by firstly, where possible, agreeing who will initiate the process as a sole applicant or whether the application for divorce can be made as a joint application.
Next, we can help with preparing your application for filing with the court or help guide you through the process if you choose to deal with this element yourself. Thereafter, there are statutory waiting times built into the process for couples to “reflect” and try and agree on their finances and arrangements for children where possible. Thereafter, the divorce process is largely a series of administrative steps and in itself, can take as a little as six to seven months from start to finish but sometimes concurrent issues, usually relating to financial matters, can lead to the whole process taking a bit longer. We will be able to discuss this with you and consider and advise upon any relevant external factors.
Civil Partnership Dissolution
In 2005, civil partnerships were introduced for same sex couples which largely provided civil partners with the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. Whilst same sex couples have subsequently been given the right to marry and also convert their civil partnership to a marriage, some couples remain in, or choose to enter into civil partnerships including now opposite sex couples.
With the introduction of civil partnerships, also came “dissolution” which is the process to bring a civil partnership to an end. This process mirrors the divorce process and is relatively straightforward with it being again only necessary to confirm to the court that the civil partnership has irretrievably broken down.
Civil partners are also able to make the same financial claims on dissolution as married couples would be on divorce.
Although the “usual” route for bringing a marriage to an end is to proceed with an application for divorce/dissolution, there may be certain limited circumstances where a marriage could be void or voidable. In such circumstances, it may be necessary to apply for a nullity order or annulment as it is otherwise known, as opposed to a divorce or dissolution.
A marriage can be annulled if it is legally defective meaning the marriage should not have happened in the first place. This could be where one or both parties are underage or already married. A marriage may also be voidable for other reasons such as where there has been a forced marriage or it has not been consummated.
Nullity proceedings can be started at any stage after the date of marriage, including within the first twelve months of marriage. The annulment process can be very complicated and fact specific, however, so it is important to obtain early advice from an experienced family solicitor enabling consideration to be given to the pros and cons of this route.
The main difference between judicial separation and divorce/dissolution is that judicial separation does not bring the marriage or civil partnership to an end. For some couples, therefore a judicial separation may be a more appropriate option than divorce or dissolution. This could be where the couple have a religious or cultural reason not to want a divorce or where a couple want to formalise their separation but don’t want to miss out on the financial benefits afforded by virtue of their marriage.
Applications for judicial separation are unusual, however, and the whole process can still be just as costly and time consuming as a divorce or dissolution. Legal advice should be obtained as to the financial and legal implications so you can decide upon the best course of action for you.
International Issues for Divorce/Dissolution
Whilst the divorce/dissolution process itself is usually relatively straightforward, if one or both parties have international links, then it is important to consider where might be the best place to issue divorce proceedings and couples can sometimes have several options.
In such circumstances, it is vital that early advice is sought as to where might be the most favourable jurisdiction for your particular circumstances and it may not be the same for you as it is your spouse so the timing of any application may be crucial. The law differs significantly between countries, and this can have a big impact on the outcome.
We can work with other international family lawyers, if advice is required, to ensure you fully understands the options available to you.
There are usually financial matters to resolve upon separation, both in the short and long term. Whether through negotiation or litigation, we can help achieve the best result for you.
Please see our Finances and Divorce page for more information.
Equally, if you are contemplating marriage but are concerned what that might mean for you in the unfortunate event of a future separation, then please see our Nuptial agreements and wealth protection page.
Speak to a Divorce and Dissolution Solicitor
DTM Legal has Family Law, Divorce, and Dissolution lawyers in our Chester and Liverpool offices. Contact a member of our team to discuss your rights and preferences. We serve as your trusted partner, offering expert legal advice that is both practical and tailored to your unique needs.