A question our solicitors receive a lot at Stephens Scown is whether the contents of the divorce petition will affect the overall outcome of their case.

The divorce petition is the means to which a spouse will try to convince the court their marriage has irretrievably broken down and that the process to dissolution should begin.

Whilst there are five grounds upon which the petition can be based a spouse will usually only have the option to use adultery or unreasonable behaviour if they have not yet been separated for two years.

Adultery and unreasonable behaviour petitions are, by their nature, fault-based and blame-led; they require negative behaviours of the respondent spouse to be outlined.

Many spouses worry that the contents of the petition will have a detrimental effect on their case further down the line. The petition is a confidential document – only you, your spouse, your respective legal representatives, and the court will have sight of it. What many people do not realise is that divorce and financial matters run parallel to one another – they are not connected, unlike in many other jurisdictions. You could even in theory complete the divorce process before finances are even discussed, something we would not usually recommend. Financial matters will be resolved either through negotiations or the courts, depending on how much you are each willing to compromise and discuss matters.

One of our experienced solicitors can help to draft your petition and advise as is specific to your personal and financial situation.

If you have been served with a divorce petition and are worried about its affect or the next steps you should take, organise to speak with one of our experienced family solicitors who can guide you through the process.

Alara is a paralegal at Stephens Scown, presently providing support to the Family team in Exeter.  If you would like to contact the team about the content in this article, then please call 01392 210700 or email family.exeter@stephens-scown.co.uk.