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Does divorce have to be horrible?

divorce real women advice

So, what happened?

Mr Vlad sued for divorce first, citing his wife’s unreasonable behaviour. She responded by cross-petitioning for divorce on his unreasonable behaviour. This clearly suggests that she agreed with her husband that the marriage was over but instead of trying to resolve things reasonably to avoid a court battle and unwanted publicity, it just went from bad to worse. At the hearing the judge granted a divorce to the husband but rejected the wife’s cross-petition, describing her tellingly as “a lady on a mission against her husband”. Mrs Vlad couldn’t let it lie, and appealed against this decision unsuccessfully, with the appeal court describing the proceedings as a huge waste of emotional energy. It must also have been a huge waste of money!

When you see headlines like this you could be forgiven for thinking that the divorce process in England and Wales is a life destroying nightmare.

Current divorce law – which stipulates that to get an immediate divorce you have to rely on allegations of either adultery or unreasonable behaviour on the part of your husband – doesn’t help. In fact it probably increases the likelihood that proceedings will start on the wrong foot. If you want to get a divorce by consent without making any unpleasant allegations, you have to separate for at least two years before you can issue a petition.

Despite the unsatisfactory state of the law, you can still avoid the nightmare scenario by following a few simple rules.

Firstly, don’t hire a Rottweiler lawyer, however tempted you may be to wreak vengeance on your husband. It’s very important to engage a specialist family law solicitor who should do their best to take a conciliatory approach to encourage early settlement and save costs.

Secondly, if there are children involved, don’t use them as pawns in a battle with your ex. It’s vital to separate the children’s interests from your own emotional baggage. Doing so will help you and your husband to focus on what’s really important moving forward.

Finally, remember that lawyers can be expensive and that they usually charge on hourly rates, meaning that the more work they do, the more it costs you. You should also understand that both sides’ costs come out of the same matrimonial pot at the end of the day, whoever seems to win or lose. Don’t use your money to make lawyers rich, spend it on the kids or on starting a new life for yourself.

Once you have put the right framework in place, try to encourage good communications between you and your husband if possible, and between your solicitors. Find different ways of dealing with matters amicably to avoid acrimony, minimise delay, and keep legal costs to a minimum. Steer clear of any emotional longings for vengeance or retribution – it’s too expensive and counter-productive.

Just concentrate on getting the best outcome for the whole family.

If you and your husband are able to deal with each other in a civil manner, you may even be able to get a DIY divorce as a ‘litigant in person’ without engaging a solicitor, by using an online divorce service.

Just Divorce provides lots of valuable free information to help you decide whether you can get a divorce and whether an online service is right for you. If the answer is yes, you pay a fixed price which is far lower than the cost of a traditional solicitor. You don’t even have to go to your lawyer’s office or attend court. The site, run by a team of experienced family law solicitors, prepares all the court forms and letters you need to get your divorce and sends you detailed e-mails explaining exactly what you need to do, when and why. It confirms all court fees, so you know exactly what you need to pay. It also offers related services such as financial clean break orders, to help you resolve the financial fallout of the separation.

So no, divorce doesn’t have to be horrible if you follow these basic rules. There is a genuine alternative to expensive days in court and the emotional drama that the Vlads put themselves through. And it’s a much less painful and cheaper way to start your new life!

Bryan Reed

Bryan Reed is the driving force behind He is the owner and developer of this fully online e-legal service that simplifies the process of managing your own divorce.  A member of the Law Society’s accredited Family Law Panel and the Resolution Group of Family Lawyers, Bryan has over 30 years experience of managing family law cases.


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  1. Kandi Klees says:

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in the Features also.

  2. [...] at women’s interests, and family law subjects are always topical. you can read the piece at so i won’t repeat it here. however, the gist is that yes, divorce can be really horrible, [...]

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