Ending your marriage

When ending your marriage, there are a number of things to consider. Firstly, you are likely to have a lot of things to sort out with your partner, such as money, housing, property, possessions and childcare. This can be easier said than done.  If you can do this informally before going to court, you can then draw up a separation agreement to set out future arrangements.

A formal end to a marriage involves filing the divorce paperwork with the court.  The parties do not need to attend any hearings or go to court.

Here are some key points about the divorce process:

  • You must have been married for one year before you can apply for divorce.
  • Undefended divorce – when neither you nor your partner objects to it. It can take up to 6 months for the court to grant this.
  • Defended divorce – divorce is rarely defended as it is costly to go to a full trial and the chances of success is low.
  • The following are ground for divorce:-
  1. Adultery
  2. Unreasonable behaviour
  3. Desertion
  4. 2 years’ separation with consent
  5. 5 years’ separation without consent

Family Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary process whereby a trained mediator can assist you and your partner to arrive at joint decisions about the arrangements for the future.

  • It can be less costly and can help you keep the situation as amicable as possible.
  • Mediation can be a good alternative to using solicitors to negotiate a settlement to finalise arrangements for finances and the children
  • In the majority of cases, attending mediation is now compulsory before court proceedings can be started.


  • If you have children, it is possible to reach an agreement with regards to child maintenance
  • If an agreement cannot be reached, then either party can apply to the Child Support Agency for an assessment for child maintenance
  • There is a set formula for minimum child maintenance through the Child Support Agency
  • Maintenance can be paid to you or your partner by way of spousal maintenance in some circumstances.

Property Possessions

  • All property owned by you or your partner (including individually owned) should be taken into account when considering the financial settlement;
  • Generally, the partner with whom the children live, will be expected to keep domestic goods and equipment;
  • Whilst there is no set formula for property and possessions, the parties would be expected to reach a “reasonable” settlement


  • You and your partner have the right to stay in the home until there has been a divorce, or until one of you has been ordered to leave through a court injunction.
  • In a tenancy situation, the court can transfer the tenancy to your name, even if your partner is the sole tenant, or you or your partner were joint tenants.
  • The court has the power to transfer property regardless of original ownership.


  • It is always best to arrive at a voluntary agreement in respect of the care of the children;
  • Any agreement must be in the best interests of the children and their needs are paramount;
  • In certain situations, one parent is the main carer and the non-resident parent would have contact with the children.  In other cases, both parents have a shared parenting arrangement. This allows the children spend equal amounts of time with each parent.
  • It is advisable (and often compulsory) to meet with a family mediator when you are unable to agree the arrangements for children
  • As a last resort,  if an agreement still cannot be reached, an application to court can be made.  This can be a costly and time-consuming process, however.


It can be difficult to reach an agreement because of the emotions involved and/or the complexity of the matter.  Divorce Negotiator can assist both you and your partner to make decisions that are in the best interests of your family in the most cost effective and easiest way.

At Divorce Negotiator, we have designed a groundbreaking Quick Amicable Divorce service. Our service ensures that you and your partner get a quick divorce without any court hearings or expensive solicitors – saving you time and money.

For further information or to have a confidential discussion about your situation please telephone 0800 177 7702 

Ending your marriage was last modified: November 12th, 2018 by John Fuller

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