When a couple reach a point in their relationship where their marriage is simply not working, they have three options open to them:

  1. Mediation

This process enables couples discuss their problems with a mediator to see if they can reach a mutually agreeable arrangement. The mediator is neutral and seeks to assist the couple arrive at an arrangement that both can sign up to and that is fair and workable to both parties.

When the couple reach this point, they can live with such an agreement or use it as a basis for a separation agreement or divorce.

  1. Separation Agreement

This is the first step in formalising the couple’s separation.

The agreement will set out in writing the terms which both parties have agreed to. Typical terms would concern the family home, where the spouse will live, access arrangements for their children, division of their property, holiday arrangements, pets, investments, and pensions.

It is important that each party have their own solicitor advising them.

  1. Divorce

This is the final dissolution of the marriage. The parties must go through the court process as only a court can grant the decree of divorce. The parties have to be separated for 2 years.

The arrangements for a divorce will reflect many of the same terms found in a separation agreement. If the circumstances of the parties substantially change at a later date, it is open to either of them to return the matter to court to apply for a variation or reduction in certain payments or arrangements.

A divorce is the final stage of a marriage, so the engagement of a solicitor is very important. A  Divorce is a final break up of the marriage so the consequences are mostly permanent and its important to have everything finalised correctly.