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Loss of a partner through divorce or separation is a type of bereavement, which brings about various stages of grief, one of which is anger. As a result, it is normal to want to bring the reasons for the breakdown of the relationship into the negotiations that need to take place upon divorce and to set about taking the other party ‘to the cleaners’.

However, this is rarely helpful. If petitioning for a divorce based on the other’s unreasonable behaviour or adultery, details will have to be given. But citing someone’s bad behaviour will not impact on the financial outcome except in rare, exceptional cases, involving, for example, physical or sexual abuse if proven to have taken place. Doing so is therefore only likely to antagonise and lead to a flurry of confrontational correspondence between solicitors, which will increase legal fees unnecessarily. Similarly arguing over every single detail, however small and irrelevant, is also unwise because little is to be gained and relations will only be made even worse.

Conversely, whilst certainly not always easy, if both sides can adopt a constructive, pragmatic approach, this should lead to issues being resolved more quickly and fairly. Making sensible proposals at the outset will encourage the other party to be focused and will set the right tone for the rest of the process. Lawyers’ bills will be lower too, leaving more in the pot to be shared.

Some divorcing couples may still need to have some form of ongoing relationship, not least as parents if they have children together. Divorcing with dignity therefore has long-term ramifications and should help to set a positive precedent for being able to communicate with one another in the future.

Resolution is an organisation of family lawyers who are committed to a code of conduct aimed at resolving disputes constructively. As members of Resolution, the family team at Debenhams Ottaway are committed to following the code of conduct and helping clients divorce with dignity.

If you would like further information in relation to divorce or family law generally, please contact one of our family solicitors at Debenhams Ottaway.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.