Top tips for an amicable and cost effective divorce


  1. A divorce petition is a means to an end: no-one should fall out over the content of a divorce petition.
  1. Unless there are jurisdictional considerations which mean the other party cannot be made aware that a petition is about to be filed, the fact relied upon and, if that fact is unreasonable behaviour, the particulars of behaviour being included, should ideally be agreed in advance before the petition is issued.
  1. If you are the recipient of a divorce petition filed without advance warning and which contains allegations that you dispute, consider very carefully whether it is necessary to defend the petition formally or whether an open letter recording what is in dispute will suffice.  If you are in any doubt about how to respond to a divorce petition, you should seek specialist legal advice.
  1. If the reason for seeking a divorce is because your husband or wife has committed adultery but you are concerned that they may not be prepared to admit that they have done so, consider instead petitioning for divorce on the basis of their unreasonable behaviour and use their improper relationship with another person as one of your examples of unreasonable behaviour.  That way there is no need for them to admit the adultery in order for you to proceed, nor do you have to prove it (which is incredibly difficult given the legal definition of adultery).
  1. Remember to tick all the boxes in sections 10 and 11 of the petition confirming that you are applying for a financial order (even if you are not intending to make any financial claims).  It is necessary to open your claims by ticking these boxes in order for the court to be able to deal with them, which includes making orders for financial relief or dismissing your claims.
  1. Don’t forget that you need to lodge your original marriage certificate and a cheque for the £550 court fee.
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