Bishop & Sewell

Believe me when I tell you Family Law isn’t all as glamorous or high stakes as the BBC’s drama series The Split makes out. Nonetheless I’m delighted the BBC has confirmed that the programme is returning for a third season and currently being filmed.

The second series averaged over six million viewers and over 19 million streams, becoming the third most watched drama series on BBC iPlayer in 2020.

Set in an imaginary complex and cut-throat world of London’s high-end divorce circuit, the drama examines modern marriage and the legacy of divorce – both for the big-name clients and for the lawyers themselves.

The third season will continue to follow the messy lives of the Defoe sisters – and in particular the separation of Hannah and Nathan.

In season two, the pair’s relationship broke down as Hannah’s affair with Christie was revealed. Ten months later, the two divorce lawyers have been respectfully negotiating their separation and seem to have reached an amicable agreement – until a shocking revelation changes everything and completely redraws the battle lines.

Defoe sisters Hannah (Nicola Walker), Nina (Annabel Scholey) and Rose (Fiona Button) return alongside their formidable mother Ruth (Deborah Findley). Stephen Mangan continues as Hannah’s husband Nathan, and Chukwudi Iwuji reprises his role as Zander.

Reported in the Radio Times: Nicola Walker said: “I can’t wait to be back in the Defoe Family, we are all looking forward to the journey Abi has planned for us. I don’t know if Hannah will cling to the wreckage or walk away, but I do know it’s going to be a fantastic ride.”

According to the BBC, creator Abi Morgan “is set to conclude proceedings with the most dramatic and heart-breaking series to date, as we watch a divorce lawyer confronted with her own divorce”.

Will there be a season four of The Split?

Apparently not. The BBC said the latest season would be the “third and final series”. And creator and writer Abi Morgan previously said the show “has always been conceived as three.”

She promises, “the most dramatic and heart-breaking series to date” as Walker’s character, a cut-throat divorce lawyer, is faced with her own separation.

Meanwhile Stephen Mangan stars as Hannah’s soon-to-be-ex-husband. Set ten months after Nathan and Hannah’s marriage ended and the extent of her betrayal is revealed, the two professional divorce lawyers (Nathan is a barrister and Hannah a solicitor) are negotiating their divorce. However, as the stakes become clear, Hannah realises how much she could lose.

BBC teases a “shocking revelation that dramatically changes the stakes”, adding: “Battle lines are redrawn, their dream of achieving the ‘good divorce’ is left in tatters.”

Abi Morgan said: “It’s great to be back writing for the Defoe Family, and to dive once more into the complications of their lives and those of their clients. In the final series of this bittersweet trilogy, Hannah faces the heartbreak of her own divorce, and the fight to save her family and her marriage. Siblings clash, past mistakes are exposed, and hearts are broken as Noble Hale and Defoe notches up more billable hours in the divorce capital of the world.”

The Split will return to BBC One, probably in the Autumn, and series one and two are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Our Family lawyers have the knowledge and experience to guide you through these challenging times and have rankings in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for their expertise.

If you need some advice and support, please get in touch via or call us direct on +44(0)20 7091 2869. We are here for you.

The above is accurate as at 5 May 2021. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case by case basis.

Category: Blog | Date: 5th May 2021

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