Civil Partnerships

The end of a civil partnership can be exhausting and draining, emotionally and financially. We act for civil partners in situations where the relationship has broken down. With our practical legal advice and friendly, supportive approach, you can feel confident that the road ahead is bright.

Our civil partnership dissolution solicitors are here to help you navigate the challenges that arise at the end of a committed relationship, including:

  • Dividing your finances
  • Making arrangements about where any children will live and key decisions about their upbringing
  • Deciding whether to put in place spousal maintenance and child maintenance agreements and negotiating payments

With local offices in Boston, Bourne, Grantham, Horncastle, Lincoln, Newark, Sleaford, Spalding and Stamford, we are perfectly placed to help individuals across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and the wider East Midlands area.

If you would like to talk to a member of our specialist Family Law team please contact your local office or complete our online enquiry form.

How our civil partnership dissolution solicitors can help

Civil partnership dissolution applications

We can help you start the process of ending your civil partnership by guiding you through the application process or responding to your partner’s application on your behalf.

We can also provide advice if your partner objects to the dissolution or the reasons provided.

DO I HAVE TO PROVE FAULT?

No.  There is no longer the need to prove fault.

How do I apply for a Dissolution?

To apply for a dissolution, you must have been married for at least one year. It does not matter where in the world you were married, but you can only apply for a dissolution in England and Wales if either you or your spouse meet certain residence conditions or are domiciled here.

The grounds from April 2022

The dissolution application needs only to detail that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage. 

Who can issue?

A joint application or a sole application can be submitted to the court. 

Is there a Court fee to pay?

Yes, there is a court fee payable of £593.

Can someone who receives notification that dissolution proceedings are issued defend the dissolution?

There is little (if any) prospect of successfully preventing a dissolution once an application is made.  There are now only very limited and specific grounds available to defend a dissolution.

The Timetable

A dissolution will now take a minimum of 26 weeks unless the circumstances are exceptional. 

However, not everyone should apply for a Final Order in Dissolution as soon as it is available and you should make sure you have discussed whether you should do so with us. It may not be sensible to apply immediately if, for example, financial arrangements are not yet settled.

Costs

In the past costs orders were available to an Applicant in a dissolution.  Now, under the no fault regime, it would be an unusual case for cost orders to be made.

Civil partnership dissolution finances

Financial matters are sorted out in a separate process to the dissolution application. You will need to divide and arrange all your money, property, debts and responsibilities with your partner so you can both move on with your independent lives. Wherever appropriate, you may also discuss maintenance to enable both partners to maintain a good quality of life after the dissolution is final.

There are several ways you can work out your finances and we are able to provide detailed advice about the process, including:

  • Voluntary negotiations – where you come to an agreement entirely between yourselves with the assistance of your family lawyers
  • Alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation
  • Applying to court for a financial order – this method should be a last resort if you cannot sort out finances between yourselves

We also have a dedicated wealth management team who can provide expert advice about all types of financial matters. Our family team work with our wealth management advisors to provide you with the highest quality of advice.

Arrangements for children

Working out where your children will live, agreeing child maintenance, and resolving key issues about their upbringing is often the most stressful and contentious aspect of dissolution.

Usually, both parents value their children’s happiness and welfare above everything else but find it difficult to agree on how exactly to achieve their goals. It is also common for each parent to feel like their partner is purposely ‘undermining’ their relationship with their children. Sometimes, this is the case. However, in many cases, partners simply need extra support to help them communicate and come to an agreement.

We can provide friendly, practical advice about making arrangements for children, including complex matters such as whether one parent can relocate the children within the UK or abroad or change their surname.

With our support and guidance, it is highly likely that you will be able make a successful parenting plan without having to resort to court proceedings. We can also help you access methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution such as mediation if it would benefit you.

Your children’s best interests will be at the heart of everything we do. If necessary, we will provide advice about starting court proceedings, for example, for an independent decision about the arrangements for the children.

Why choose Chattertons’ civil partnership dissolution solicitors?

Our civil partnership dissolution solicitors have helped individuals and families since civil partnership was introduced in the early 2000’s and have specialised in family law for many decades. As well as being able to help with straightforward cases, we regularly handle complex and high value civil partnership dissolution matters.

Many of our team are members of Resolution, an organisation of legal professionals who specialise in helping individuals find constructive, out-of-court solutions to family law disputes.

We have a dedicated wealth management team who can assist with financial matters wherever necessary. We are also members of the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) and our residential property solicitors are able to assist with any property issues that arise during the dissolution, such as selling your family home or transferring ownership.

Get in touch with our civil partnership dissolution solicitors

If you would like to talk to a member of our specialist Family Law team please contact your local office or complete our online enquiry form.