There is a common myth about cohabitation and unmarried couples living together, where they are seen as common law ‘husband and wife’. However, this myth is not considered by the family courts, and as such a separating unmarried couple will not have the same rights and protections as a divorcing married couple; you will be treated in the same way as two individuals, rather than as a family.

If you decide to separate, we know that there can be some animosity and upset that makes the division of belongings hard; this is often the case with property and joint finances. This difficulty is why Major Family Law recommend that you hire an expert family solicitor to help you with splitting up and come to an amicable decision that is fair.

Splitting Up and Property

There are a few aspects of your belongings that need to be considered when separating. These include (but are not limited to):

  • If you own your family home and decide to sell it, how will the funds be split?
  • What child maintenance support will you receive going forward?
  • If you choose to not sell your home, who will live there?

Due to the difficulties and complexities of property rights following a separation, we advise arranging mediation or arbitration to resolve your property matters. We believe that it is much more civil to resolve these issues outside of the courtroom, and to make a decision together, rather than have one enforced upon you by a judge. Major Family Law are one of the best family law firms in the north east, with an incredible track record of resolving issues through mediation and arbitration. This is a much more cost effective and time-efficient way to resolve your situation too. For advice on how to start the process, please get in touch today.

Splitting Up and Children

Alongside property, it is also important to arrange child arrangements and maintenance in the early stages of separation. Both parents are entitled to see their child, even if your split was not amicable. It is also important to arrange child maintenance and contributions towards the child. Our child and parental dispute lawyers resolve matters like these each and every day.

If your ex-partner is refusing to pay child maintenance or is behind on their payments, then it may be possible to have the courts issue an Enforcement Order to retrieve the monies owed to you.

As with property, we believe that coming to an amicable decision that is mutually beneficial is the best way to move forward; we are able to advise on the different methods of proceeding in coming to an arrangement. Please call our team today on 01661 824582 for a free 45-minute consultation.

Ways of Moving Forward

There are a few recommended methods for splitting up and moving on with your life.

Family mediation – A mediator will become a ‘go between’ and will communicate decisions between parties. This method may start off difficult but it becomes easier over time. Once decisions have been made around splitting up, they can be formed into formal and legal Court Orders. For more information about how we represent you, please see our How We Do It page.

Collaborative law – a more time consuming method. You will agree to sit down with your ex-partner and come to an amicable decision together. Collaborative law is often seen as a ‘problem solving’ solution around coming to a decision together. For more information, see our Resolution and Collaborative Law page or find out more at the online resource Splitting Up.

Going to court – we believe that this should be the last resort. If we are not able to resolve your situation through alternative means, then having a judge issue a decision is the final option. This is an expensive option and can be quite stressful. The judge will leave you with a final decision that is made for you. This may not be the result that you are after, but it is a decision that you will have to stick with.

To ensure that you are not caught off-guard and that you are fully prepared for the process of moving forward, we advise that you speak with a member of our team as soon as possible. We offer 45-minute free consultations to discuss your needs and explain what happens next. You can arrange your meeting with one of the north east’s leading solicitors by clicking the button below.