It’s never a good experience when a marriage breaks down, many people’s go-to solution is divorce.

However, there are couples who may not want to go through the emotional and financial stress of divorce, particularly if there are children involved. Here, we’ll discuss three alternatives to divorce that may be a better option for you and your relationship.


1. Separation

If divorce isn’t practical, for whatever reason, you do have the option of separating. This is ideal if you’re looking to provide as much stability during this time as possible if you have children, for example.

Although both parties are still legally married to each other, you’ll still be able to live separately and, to a degree, lead separate lives. However, property and financial assets are still generally classed as jointly owned.

One thing to consider, though, is there is the option of a legal separation. According to, You may want a legal separation if:

  • You have religious reasons against divorce
  • You’ve been married or in a civil partnership for less than a year
  • You want time and space to work out if you want to end the marriage or civil partnership


2. Annulment

Unlike divorce, where the marriage is still recognised as having once existed, an annulment is as if the marriage never existed in the first place.

However, it’s important to note annulments are much harder to obtain than a decree in divorce. There have to be certain grounds for a divorce, however, grounds for an annulment are much stricter. 

You’ll need to show that the marriage:

  • was never legally valid (‘void’)
  • was legally valid, but meets one of the reasons that makes it ‘voidable’


3. Couples Counselling

A much easier alternative to divorce is couples counselling.  If you’re having problems in your marriage but don’t yet want the commitment of divorce or separation, then couples counselling can allow both parties to attempt to repair the marriage.

Having an outside perspective is sometimes what’s needed to allow both parties to objectively assess their relationship and work on fixing it.

This option tends to be especially popular with couples who have children and would like to explore all possible options before getting a divorce.


The Conclusion

Ultimately, only you and your spouse can truly know if it’s time for a divorce. If you’ve tried alternatives such as separation, couples counselling, or other methods, then you may feel you have no alternative.

If you’re seeking advice about divorce and don’t know where to start, get in touch today with our friendly team to find out how we can help.