It is refreshing to see someone in the public eye give an honest account of the reasons she feels her marriage ended, and brave of Rebecca to do so.

Every relationship is different and if a couple separates there can be many reasons for this decision.

English law requires someone seeking a divorce to have been married for more than one year and to feel that the marriage has irretrievably broken down with no prospect of reconciliation.  They then have to show that their reasons for divorce fall within one of five 'facts', namely:


Adultery
Behaviour
Separation for 2 years (with consent)
•  Desertion for 2 years
 Separation for 5 years (without consent)

Whilst we wait for any change in the law to introduce 'no fault' divorce, I find that many clients choose to use the fact of behaviour, because in the absence of adultery they would otherwise have to wait for 2 years, and they do not want to wait that long for the certainty of a final binding order dealing with the couple's financial claims against each other.

I've seen a whole range of divorce petitions drafted by other lawyers and/or parties representing themselves on the basis of behaviour.  These range from vicious character assassinations that creates unnecessary acrimony to weak one sentence particulars that the judge will not approve.  At these extremes these petitions cause additional costs for the parties in terms of time and legal fees, which could have been avoided.

In my experience a well drafted petition, which covers the necessary points with an appropriate level of detail,  in most cases will start the proceedings in a constructive way, which can then be built upon when dealing with finances and the arrangements for any children.   The petition itself is not going to modify the other person's behaviour, and there are other ways of addressing that. 

Ultimately my client wants a divorce, and I have found that this approach can save them costs, both emotionally and financially.

If you or someone you know would appreciate some further advice about starting divorce proceedings and the options available please do contact me on 01865 781115 or gemma.nicholls-webber@freeths.co.uk.

There is more information available on our website as well at http://www.freeths.co.uk/how-to-get-a-divorce