How much legal sorting out there will be to do depends on a variety of factors such as whether or not the relationship was a marriage or civil partnership; whether there are children involved; whether or not there is joint property to be dealt with and for some, whether or not there has been any domestic violence or abuse.
Even where the relationship has been a marriage or civil partnership the automatic response isn't always to go to the courts and get a divorce. There are mediation pathways that can be more harmonious, more straightforward and more affordable. The concern about how much any legal work will cost is often a barrier to people going through separation seeking the proper advice, but you need to be careful here - 'do it yourself' or cheap online alternatives may well cost you more in the long term.
The best advice is to seek an initial meeting with a good solicitor. There is a Directory of trusted solicitors on this website. Usually an initial meeting will be offered at no cost and that meeting will help you decide what level of legal support you need and how best to afford it. There are less expensive options including the use of something called Mackenzie Friends and a good solicitor will be able to advise you about these. If you do choose to use a Mackenzie friend choose wisely - look for someone with some professional legal experience and not just some who has 'been there, done that and got the T shirt!'
Separation is a stressful time and good legal advice will help to re-assure you and make sure that you are in the best position to rebuild your life particularly with regard to essential matters like your finances including dividing jointly owned property, future income and pension rights. Also where there are children involved solicitors will help you find the best arrangement for the children and both parents.
About Separation Support
Separation Support Guide
Separation Support is a free to access independent web portal for people going through separation (separators). Our aim is providing “separators” with necessary support and information which is unbiased to help you consider all the implications that may arise from your separation. You may need to consider legal, financial and emotional matters. We can signpost you to the correct expert in their chosen field.
We're so glad you found us. You'll find lots of free help and advice on dealing with separation in our guide.