Archive : Separation


Legal Separation

Family Law solicitors dealing with Separation issues in Dorset

Whether or not a couple are married, relationships may falter and a separation follow. You may need advice on contact or maintenance for children or distribution of assets including the family home. We can assist with advice on the financial and practical arrangements involved in a separation. The rights of unmarried couples can be very different to the position of a separating married couple.

FAQs - Separation

What about common - law husband and wife?
In law, there is no recognition of 'common law' husband and wife regardless of the length of the relationship or existence of children. Cases relating to financial matters are dealt with on the basis of a wide range of rules and cases which can be complex. The outcome of disputes can be difficult to predict but are generally best dealt with by agreement without the need for a court case. Agreements should usually be written down legally as a 'separation agreement' to provide a proper record of the terms of settlement.
So what is relevant in my dispute?
Most disputes involve the parties' home. If property is involved the documents prepared at the time of purchase and since will be very important. These include the transfer deed and any other deeds or declarations. Financial contributions can be relevant as can the circumstances behind the purchase of the property by the owners. Where children are involved further rules permit other applications to be made which can bring in other aspects of the relationship as relevant.

As different rules apply to bank accounts and debts depending upon who owns them, we suggest that we can provide you with advice tailored to your circumstances.

What about pensions and maintenance payments?
Whilst child support will apply as between separated parents whether or not they have been married, there is currently no basis for separating cohabitants to claim pension or maintenance against the other.
How long does a case take and how much does it cost?
Disputes between cohabiting parties can be protracted and costly. As with other areas of dispute, we recommend the parties consider processes such as mediation and collaboration to resolve issues. Where a court case cannot be avoided the time involved can be up to 18 months and costs can exceed £10,000 plus VAT.

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