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Divorce & Separation Advice

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Divorce & Separation Advice

"A Guide Separation & Agreements”

Know The Facts, Know the Law!


The breakdown of a relationship or marriage is a stressful and difficult process. Advice from an experienced family lawyer can go a long way towards mitigating the stress and assisting parties to achieve a settlement, both financial and non-financial. The vast majority of separations do not end up in court. At Nero Legal we have an accredited specialist in Family Law assisted by a team of paralegals. We can help you at all stages of your separation.

First steps - You and your spouse/partner should try your utmost to sit down and talk things over prior to the separation. This may be very difficult, especially if you do not want the separation and are hurt and upset. In some circumstances it might be helpful to involve another family member such as a grandparent or sibling. This can help when dealing with emotions which are running high. You should note points down that you are able to agree upon.

Sound advice from an experienced family lawyer can be of untold value at the early stages of a separation. At Nero Legal we can give you that advice and can help you negotiate and draw up a ‘separation agreement’. With the help of our family law team, we can discuss with you the law which applies in relation to your separation, and if necessary we can negotiate with your spouse on your behalf. If it transpires that you cannot reach an amicable settlement and you feel your case will have to go to court then we can assist you with that but this is something that we will try to avoid if at all possible.

Taking your Instructions Your initial ‘consultation’ with a member of our family law team can be conducted over the telephone if that suits you but if you would prefer a face to face meeting this can be arranged. We appreciate that often it can be difficult to arrange time off work to attend appointments. We are happy to work with you and fit in with your requirements. We can take your on-going instructions over the phone or by email. This helps to minimise the disruption to your day to day life.

Many separating couples find it helpful to enter into a written separation agreement (known as a Minute of Agreement) with their spouse/ex-partner in relation to all the issues arising from the breakdown of their marriage/relationship.

Minute of Agreement A Separation Agreement is the equivalent of a ‘contract’ entered into by yourself and your spouse/partner. This can be registered with the Books of Council and Session. The terms of your Separation Agreement will depend on a number of factors. Every agreement is different and individual to each couple: do you want to sell the house, keep it in joint names, have it transferred to one of you, can you afford to buy the other party out, what is to happen with the mortgage, will the other party move out right away, will they rent a property, will you both live in the same house for a period of time, what about the children, who will they stay with, if they stay with mum when will they see dad and vice versa, will one of you pay money to the other in relation to the children and other matters, if so, how much and how often, will the children stay overnight with the other parent, what about holidays, what about childcare cost, what about pensions, have you and your spouse run up a lot of debt, who incurred the debt, what was it for, who is going to pay it off, will you both pay it or will one of you pay more than the other, will all of the debt be paid off from the sale proceeds of the house. All of these points and many others can be discussed and agreed with your spouse/partner prior to meeting with your solicitor. Alternatively these issues can be negotiated on your behalf by your solicitor. It can often take some time for the terms of your Minute of Agreement to be finalised. The family law team at Nero Legal have a great deal of experience and expertise in this area

Interim Minutes of Agreement - Sometimes an agreement is needed immediately, prior to you and your spouse/partner having reached agreement on the final terms of your main Separation Agreement. Interim agreements may be required to allow the family home to be sold or in relation to contact arrangements for the children. At Nero Legal we are experienced in drafting these agreements as instructed by you.


If you and your spouse are separated, it is highly likely that at some time you will want to be divorced. There are two main procedures you can use to be divorced. Both of these involve papers being lodged with your or your spouse’s local court. There are a number of grounds for divorce. Your solicitor will discuss these with you.

Simplified Divorce Procedure You have to satisfy certain criteria before you can use the simplified procedure for your divorce. The simplified procedure, as per its name, is quicker and cheaper than using the full procedure.

Divorce using the full procedure The majority of divorces using the full procedure are based on one year’s separation with consent or two years’ separation where consent is not required. You may wish to be divorced sooner. You have to satisfy certain grounds if you wish to be divorced before you have been separated for at least one year. We can discuss these with you and take the necessary steps to obtain a divorce.


Cohabitation and Pre-nuptial Agreements - These agreements are not as common as separation agreements. The old saying, “prevention is better than cure” may be very appropriate when two people start their life together. The drawing up of a pre-nuptial agreement ensures that you have thought about the issues that might lead to difficulties in future, in the event of the breakdown of the marriage or relationship. At Nero Legal we can talk through your options and set out your wishes in a document which, though not binding in law, will be taken into account in the event of a future relationship breakdown.


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