Separating Without Going to Court in the UK

Separation from a partner can be a traumatic experience for anyone. What makes a separation more strenuous is the idea of exhaustive court visits. Thankfully, to save your mental health, alternative separation methods exist.

This article will delve deeper into understanding the step-by-step non-court options for a peaceful divorce or if you are seeking expert guidance on navigating divorce proceedings, consider reaching out to reputable divorce law firms.

Non-court options

Primarily, these are the non-court options for legal separation:


If you wish to be more private about your personal affairs and avoid going to court, this is the right choice. In this process, you can ask for a mediator and get a safe environment to resolve the separation process. A mediator is supposed to stay confidential and settle the dispute quietly. For professional assistance in family mediation, consider consulting with experienced professionals through LawyerSorted.


This is helpful when you wish someone to guide you through the process. An arbitrator can resolve the dispute between you and our partner and can give you a decision as per the evidence you have provided.

Collaborative law

Each party can hire a lawyer and ask them to settle the matter outside of court. This strategy allows for more open communication, and before you begin, sign an agreement to work amicably together. After discussing everything, the lawyers and parties must sign a process completion agreement.

Non-court UK separation agreement – steps

For a more relaxing separation process, follow these steps:

Meet the requirement

If you desire an amicable divorce, you must meet all the legal requirements. Make sure you have at least completed one year of marriage before you file for divorce.

In England and Wales, the only grounds to file for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of marriage, and if you are at that stage, you may proceed immediately. Various factors can help during the entire process, such as unreasonable behaviour, desertion, continuous two-year separation with consent, or staying away for five years without acknowledging the partner.

You should begin a mutual separation discussion, and if you & your spouse agree on the reasons for separation, you can proceed.

Gather important documents

Once you know you meet all the requirements for divorce, start collecting all the relevant documents. For example, you’ll need a marriage certificate, details of children (if you have any), financial records, details about essential assets, etc.

Even if you opt for a non-court option, you should seek legal advice independently. This will help you gain much knowledge regarding protecting your assets in the entire process.

Negotiate the settlement

The settlement process includes decisions regarding property, finances, and child custody, and both parties must agree. However, this negotiation can be done between the spouses directly or in the presence of a mediator.

Complete the divorce forms.

You must complete the divorce petition form if you initiate the separation process. After that, attach the marriage certificate with it and submit it in court.

Acknowledge and response

Now, the court must send the papers to the respondent. The respondent should then acknowledge it and respond within two weeks. If you are lucky and your spouse agrees to divorce you on your terms, the respondent must submit the answer in court.

Finalise the divorce process.

After the court views everything, it can either confirm the grounds for divorce or reject it. If it proves, the final step is to end the marriage. The waiting time is six weeks, and you can officially apply to dissolve the union.

Parting Thoughts

Even though options exist outside of a court of law, they may not always be feasible and a court date may be essential. This can happen when you and your spouse cannot agree on the conditions of your divorce amicably.  Lawyersorted can be beneficial to you here. We can provide you with the best online consultation or a family law solicitor within your area in the shortest possible time. 

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