Divorce & Separation Solicitors

Here at Cygnet Law, our specialists understand how difficult it is to go through divorce or separation. We strive to ensure you’re supported every step of the way, whether the situation is mutual or if any difficulties lie ahead. This could be anything from financial provisions to arrangements with children.

Our specialist divorce solicitors and lawyers, based in Redcar & East Cleveland, have a wealth of experience in dealing with all complexities arising from a separation, to ensure any divorce and separation processes are as smooth as possible. We cater for every legal problem a family can experience and are experts with divorce law so you can rest assured you’re in good hands with us.

To discuss any of your divorce or separation queries further, please get in touch with our dedicated family law and divorce solicitors to book an appointment.



Divorce, depending on the situation you’re in, can either be a straightforward process or an arduous one. Legal advice and support is often necessary, so it’s important to understand what to do if it’s necessary for you.

In England, divorce can only happen if you’ve been married for at least one year. Sometimes divorces are possible to carry out without the support of divorce solicitors. However, if there are disputes with your agreements, finances, property or children, it’s advised you seek a trustworthy solicitor to guide you through the process.

To help you understand what’s required to successfully begin the arrangements for a divorce, you should start with considering the sole ground, which is the “irretrievable  breakdown” of the marriage and then the facts, which essentially covers why your marriage has broken down. Having this in place helps the courts understand the reasons for your divorce. 

In the unfortunate circumstance your ex-partner disagrees on the grounds of divorce, making it difficult to arrange who pays for the fees, this is when you will need a solicitor to support you. It’s important to ensure you have as much evidence as possible if your case is taken to court.

If you do require a divorce solicitor, we can represent you in court and speak on your behalf. We will strive to secure you the best result in court, guiding you throughout the proceedings from the outset. 

If you have any questions regarding the length of time divorce takes, the costs involved or how it all works, we’ll lead the way for you in this sometimes demanding life change.


Separating from a partner introduces slightly different factors, but there will likely be things you need to figure out. Separation is similar to divorce in the sense that it cannot be legally carried out unless you have been together with your partner for at least one year. The same applies with ending your civil partnership.

With separation, we understand the multitude of considerations to account for. Separating from your partner isn’t always simple, and you might need to declare:

  • Where your children will live and the visiting arrangements with your ex-partner.
  • Your finances with your ex-partner.
  • Child maintenance.
  • The new living arrangements with your ex-partner.


Sometimes separating from your partner is informal in its arrangements, except in instances where you’re worried for your children’s safety or if you and your partner cannot come to an agreement about where your children spend their time. If you feel vulnerable or worried about yours and your children’s safety, you will need to have involvement with the courts. This applies especially if you’ve experienced domestic violence with the person you’re separating from.

If you’re in a situation where your partner is making it difficult to come to any agreement with your children, finances or living settings, we can assist you during the period of your separation.

Financial Provisions

One of the most complex situations couples can find themselves in when going through divorce and separation is resolving financial issues. This doesn’t need to be a reality though. We have the expertise and support to assist with such difficulties. If you find there’s no resolve with finances between you and your ex-partner, there are thankfully ways to work through it with various options to rely on. 

We offer experience and support in financial matters, whether you’re going through divorce or separation. For divorce, you have either financial provision or clean break orders to settle finances, with the former including property transfer/division of equity, pension sharing orders, ongoing maintenance for a number of years if appropriate to the specific circumstances. And the latter ending the financial relationship between you and your partner. Despite this, we will guide you through everything you need to know, as financial complexities aren’t the easiest to overcome on your own.

Financial settlements within divorce have no fixed solutions, they’re all tailored to the situation with you and your ex-partner. Some of the things that will be taken into account include:

  • How long you’ve been married.
  • Your age.
  • Your financial requirements.
  • Any monetary contributions you’ve already made or you have committed to for the future.
  • Your income and financial resources, including your property.
  • Any potential losses made when going through with a divorce.


Our specialist divorce solicitors are also experienced in representing clients post-proceedings, should it be necessary to enforce an order or revisit a periodical payment.

If all this overwhelms you, don’t worry our expert divorce solicitors will support you through every step of the journey.

Cohabitation Trusts and Disputes

In some cases, couples cohabit before getting married, with increasing numbers choosing to avoid marriage altogether. As cohabitation over marriage is becoming more commonplace, it’s important to have an agreement in place or a ‘Declaration of Trust’, as it’s easily misconstrued that couples can rely on marriage law to solve any disputes.

Cohabitation agreements should be considered, as often they provide beneficial interest for both of you. In the unfortunate circumstance you separate, you have an agreement to rely on. There are two instances whereby an agreement should be considered, including if you are the sole property owner or if you and your partner own the property in both your names. You and your partner should consider a cohabitation agreement as it protects both of your interests around property, but also wider considerations too.

Civil Partnerships

Alternatively, if you and your partner want to avoid marriage, you can opt for a legal civil partnership. A civil partnership is an option for either same sex couples or for the opposite sex too, providing legal recognition within your relationship. Your legal rights outlined within a partnership can include:

  • Your entitlement within the relationship.
  • The division of welfare benefits, finances and tax credits.


If you require support outlining the legalities surrounding your civil partnership, our solicitors have the experience and knowledge to carry out the proceedings.

Nuptial Agreements

Nuptial agreements include pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, which apply to couples before and after they marry or enter a civil partnership. Before couples enter their partnership or marriage, it’s possible to have a pre-nuptial agreement in place as it outlines how their assets including finances are split up. This is so provisions are in place in the unfortunate case you and your partner separate or divorce. Post-nuptial agreements are for couples who are already in a partnership or marriage, which again sets out how their assets are divided if a split were to occur.

Nuptial agreements help to identify the same objectives which help to clarify how both parties organise their finances and contents, to ultimately provide certainty and protection for both people in the case a marriage or partnership breaks down.

It’s important to consider whether a nuptial agreement is right for you and your partner as there are various benefits involved. If you need more information about this, please get in touch with us to start the process of your agreement.

No Fault Divorce

You may or may not be aware that from the 6 April 2022, there is going to be a change in the way that divorces proceed in England and Wales. This is because the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 is being brought into effect which aims to make divorce a much easier and less acrimonious process for all parties involved. The new process has been commonly referred to as ‘No Fault Divorce’ and will bring about a modern approach to the current archaic system. Currently, in England and Wales, there is one ground for divorce, that being that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To establish this ground, one or more of five facts must be demonstrated. There are three facts based on fault i.e. adultery, unreasonable behaviour and desertion, and two facts based on a period of separation (two years separation with consent or five years separation without consent). This current process means that in a large percentage of divorce proceedings, blame is assigned to one of the parties which can cause a significant
amount of distress and acrimony. The reforms and purpose of the ‘no fault divorce’ process is to ease this unnecessary distress and hostility and make things much more simplified. Although under the reforms the sole ground for divorce remains, that being that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, there is no longer a requirement that the party applying for the divorce shows one of the current five facts to support the application.
In other words, it removes the need to assign blame. Under the reforms, it will not be possible to contest a divorce, which will avoid parties’ from spending substantial amounts of money on litigation costs, defending the divorce. To commence divorce proceedings, one of the parties can make an application for divorce but alternatively, a revolutionary change to the process means that the divorce can also be applied for on a joint basis, meaning that both parties involved can make an application together which will enable them to both feel that they have had an input in the application. This collaborative working is a huge shift from the current blame-focused process resulting in a ‘no blame divorce’. There has also been a change in the language used in divorce proceedings, as a way of simplifying the process and removing outdated terminology. The first stage in the process is to obtain a conditional order, which was previously known as a “decree nisi”. The second stage is now referred to as a final order, previously known as a “decree absolute”. This change makes the process much more ‘user friendly. Although the new divorce process aims to remove delays in that minimum separation periods have been removed, a divorce still cannot be obtained instantly. A new minimum 20-week period between the start of proceedings and pronouncement of ‘Conditional Order’ has been imposed, which is designed to allow parties to take the time and reflect on whether divorce is what they really intend. This is referred to as a ‘period of reflection’. There is then a further 6-week period between Conditional Order and Final Order.  This means that in practice, even a very straightforward divorce will take no less than six months to achieve.
Regardless, the new reforms are a positive change for those seeking divorce and are welcomed by us at Cygnet Law.


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