CLS Direct - Home Page

Site Map | Feedback | Key Shortcuts | Help   

3 Divorce and Separation

pdf icon

Download Divorce and Separation (PDF File, 295kb)

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 a will. Your husband or wife 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 husband or wife both have parental responsibility (which is the normal situation), then if either of you die, 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-husband or ex-wife 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 husband or wife) 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 parental responsibility, the court does not have to accept what you have said you want, but it will take your views 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 Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Imogen Clout, a solicitor specialising in family law.

Leaflet version: May 2019

go to top of page

CLS Legal Info Leaflets

Find a local Advisor

Enter your postcode or town to find a local advisor.

CLS Legal Information Leaflets Legal Factsheets CLS Fund & Charges Legal Aid Calculator Other Links Using Advice Search Topics Using the Directory Nationals & Helplines Categories of Law Charges Complaints News Quality Mark Information for Providers