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3 Divorce and Separation

pdf icon Download Divorce and Separation (PDF File, 381kb)

1. Introduction

2. Where to start

3. Separation

4. Divorce

5. If you have children

6. Supporting your children

7. Money and property

8. Making arrangements should you die

If you are separating or thinking about divorcing, you also need to talk to your solicitor about making or changing a will. Your partner is still your next of kin until the final decree of divorce, and they may inherit from you if you die and you have not made a will. If you have children, you also need to think about providing for them.

Do I need a guardian for my children?
If you and your partner both have parental responsibility (which is the normal situation), then if either of you dies, the other will legally have sole responsibility for the children. Most parents would agree that this is the best arrangement. But there may be reasons why you would not want this to happen. For example, your ex-partner may have lost touch with the children, or you may have had a dispute about care arrangements for the children.

In cases like this, you may feel that you would want another person (as well as your ex-partner) to have legal responsibility for your children, and you can put these wishes in your will or in a simple signed document. However, you would need to talk about this with your solicitor first. When deciding who will have care of the children after you die, the court does not have to accept your wishes, but it will take them into account.

9. Dealing with emergencies

10. Terms used in divorce and family law

11. Further Help

12. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Imogen Clout, a solicitor and mediator specialising in family law.

Leaflet version: May 2009

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