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3 Divorce and Separation
This leaflet outlines your legal position if you are married or in a civil partnership and considering separation or divorce.
This leaflet explains how the law applies to married couples as well as civil partners. Throughout the leaflet, we use the word 'partner' to mean a husband, wife or civil partner, and 'married' to mean either being married or in a civil partnership. However, it does not apply to partners who are not married or in a civil partnership.
The law is mostly the same for marriages and civil partnerships, but where there are differences we explain them. Sometimes just the legal words are different. For example, the equivalent of divorce for civil partners is officially called 'dissolution', but throughout the leaflet we use 'divorce' for both married couples and civil partners.
You may be feeling very upset and bitter as you are reading this leaflet. Family break-ups bring out the worst in most of us. But try to remember that if you do decide to divorce or separate, there are advantages in trying to keep things civil between you and your partner.
There is information on:
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Imogen Clout, a solicitor specialising in family law.
Leaflet version: May 2007
CLS Legal Info Leaflets
(Legal Information Leaflets)