You may have been experiencing some issues within your marriage or civil partnership but are unsure of what to do. If you don’t want to get a divorce or civil partnership dissolution to officially end your marriage/civil partnership, there are a couple of other options for you.

Figure it out

It’s important to take stock and ensure that you’ve figured out everything you possibly can with each other before seeking to end your marriage/civil partnership. This is where a separation can be worthwhile to think about, as it means that the marriage/civil partnership isn’t legally over, but you and your spouse can live apart giving you each the time and space you might need to figure everything out.


In these situations, the most important thing that couples can do is talk to each other. At such a vulnerable time, communication is key. Think about why you want to separate or divorce? Are you both in agreement? Is there anything that can be tried such as marriage counselling before taking drastic action? If you can amicably agree to talk and discuss the issues surrounding the potential separation, then there is more chance of a civil agreement occurring. This is especially important to ensure when there are children involved, for example.

Weigh up your options

It’s important to understand the reasons for wanting to separate and in turn the options available to you. If you’re married but both parties feel as though the marriage isn’t working out, for whatever reason, you might be considering separating. Or, perhaps you have already separated and want to decide on the next steps. You can continue to live separately until such a time where you decide that divorce is or isn’t an option. Alternatively, if things are at a stage where the marriage is irreparable then divorce may be the best option.

Ultimately, this blog is just a guide and isn’t necessarily a one size fits all approach. If you wish to discuss your situation in more detail, or talk about your options then our friendly team of Family Solicitors at Ward & Rider are here to help. Call us on 024 7655 5400 or email