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Making the decision to divorce

Making the decision to end a marriage or long-term relationship is a difficult one and not one that should never be taken lightly.  Ask yourself, do I really want to separate from my partner? Is there something else in my life causing my unhappiness?

You need to think through the decision to divorce or separate carefully and not from a place of anxiety, stress or depression. Read five things to think about before you end your marriage. 

Seek out some couples counselling, talk to your friends and family, talk to your spouse about the problems as you see them and be willing to work at saving your marriage before walking away.

Married couples

Getting divorced legally brings your marriage to an end, so that you are no longer husband and wife.

For those people not ready to dive straight into divorce proceedings, it is possible to obtain a judicial separation, whereby you remain married but legally separated, and this can deal with most financial claims. You can also set up a separation agreement, explore the alternatives to divorce.

However, if you separate but do not get divorced,  you will remain financially tied to each other and divorce continues to be the most popular way of formally separating from a spouse.

Unmarried couples

Unmarried couples do not have the same legal rights as those that are married or entered into a civil partnership.

If the relationship breaks down there is often limited legal protection.

Assets such as the family home are not divided as they might be in divorce and should a property dispute occur, trust and land law is applied instead.

There is no automatic entitlement to make financial, capital, spousal maintenance or pension claims

Counselling & support

Before you make the decision to separate or seek a divorce, counselling for yourself or as a couple can help you to communicate and talk through your issues.

Visit our Divorce Directory for a guide to counselling professionals and others who will support you

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