Lauren Harley

Associate Solicitor

DATE PUBLISHED: 04 Jan 2024 LAST UPDATED: 24 Jan 2024

Divorce in 2024? A few things to consider initially…

  1. Is there any chance of a reconciliation?

Marriages are complex and not all periods of separation are permanent.

If reconciliation is something you feel could be explored, and the other person agrees, there are lots of support services available to help you – including counselling for your relationship or on a 1 to 1 basis.

  1. Safety

If you have any concerns about your, or your children’s safety on exiting a relationship, please take a look at our Domestic Abuse Support Services blog for contact details for support services that are local to Dorset and available nationally.

Our family solicitors can advise you on the legal options available when seeking protection from an abuser, including applying for civil injunction orders from the family court, i.e. a Non Molestation Order and Occupation Order. Please see our Domestic Violence blog, “Domestic Violence – Keeping you and your children safe during lockdown” for more information.

  1. Taking legal advice from a specialist family solicitor

Getting advice on where you stand legally, your options and the possible steps to take will ensure you can proactively formulate a plan of action. Divorces don’t happen overnight (the no fault divorce process will take at a minimum 26 weeks / c7 months to reach a conclusion) and there isn’t a one size fits all solution for your family.

Our divorce and finance specialists are members of Resolution, committed to working in a constructive way with families and putting the needs of any children first.

In an initial meeting, one of our specialist family solicitors can explain the legal position, talk you through the options to takes things forward and explore what a fair outcome may look like for you in your individual circumstances.

  1. Discussing and agreeing on how to tell your children about your separation

If your situation allows, you should try to have a joint conversation with the children about your separation.

The Resolution ‘parenting through separation’ guide, provides some suggestions and insight on how best to tell your children about your separation in an age-appropriate way.

  1. Accessing support and building on your support network

Divorce and dealing with finances or child arrangements on separation can be one of the most stressful life events someone can experience. When a relationship breaks down, you will enter a period of uncertainty over your future and likely experience feelings of loss.

Your ability to cope well with this life change will be boosted by you accessing your support network and prioritising your emotional wellbeing. It’s important you seek support and contact specialist professional support services when you need to, to give yourself the tools to get through this difficult time.

There are numerous support services available, including charities and freephone numbers. Your GP may be able to signpost you to talking therapies, if needed and Resolution have a search tool on their site (which has filters for the type of professional support you need, including family specialist therapists).

  1. Pensions – don’t ignore them!

You and your spouse should exchange financial disclosure before you start discussing the terms of a financial settlement. You need all the financial cards on the table, in order to make an informed decision and negotiate. Disclosure is typically provided by way of a Form E with the supporting documents (this is the court standard disclosure form). Information about your pension(s) forms part of that disclosure.

Sometimes, pensions are the most valuable asset in a marriage. Obtaining a benefits and Cash Equivalent value statement can take several weeks, so we recommend asking your pension administrator for this information as soon as you can. You can also do this by completing and sending a Pension Inquiry Form to the pension administrator.

Our family solicitors regularly liaise with specialist pension financial advisors and actuaries for guidance on the fair value of a spouse’s pension scheme and how it would be fair to share a pension to achieve equality of retirement income.

If you have recently separated from your partner or spouse, please take a look at our blog, The ABCs of Separation which you may find helpful.

Our experts have considerable experience in dealing with divorce, arrangements for children and financial settlements. We can guide you through every aspect of your separation. Should you need further advice, please call our Family team on 01202 636223 or email MatrimonialDept@ellisjones.co.uk .

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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