Arguing over the reason for the marriage breakdown is unnecessary, hurtful and will result in time consuming litigation.
In the recent case of Lindner v Rawlins, there was a considerable amount of litigation between the parties including divorce proceedings in which each petitioned against the other on the basis of unreasonable behaviour. In this case, Mr Lindner sought to reply on the alleged ‘unreasonable behaviour’ of his wife however she denied his accusations and this caused a great deal of ongoing conflict, litigation and costs since their separation in 2012.
Before concluding the judgment in Lindner v Rawlins, Lady Justice Black attempted to point the parties in the right direction by stating:
“More than two years have now elapsed since they separated. They could now be divorced by consent without the need to engage in hurtful, time consuming and distracting litigation over how they behaved during the marriage. I encourage them to take this course in their own interest and those of their children.”
The important ground for divorce as far as the courts are concerned is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably; this is proved by establishing the existence of one of five facts. One of these facts is that your partner has behaved in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect you to continue to leave with them. Although it matters to the parties, the reasons for the breakdown are usually of limited importance. Trying to prove that the breakdown of the marriage was due to the fault of the other party will not change the fact that the marriage has broken down. It is also extremely unlikely to affect the outcome of related proceedings such as financial applications or arrangements for the children.
Lord Justice Aikens commented on the fact that neither Mr Lindner nor Mrs Rawlins were legally represented and that this case was an example of how costs can be unnecessarily incurred and that cases such as this run the risk that ‘a correct result will not be reached because the court does not have the legal assistance of counsel that it should have’.
Dealing with marriage and relationship breakdown is incredibly difficult, and emotions run high, many people seek to gain ‘revenge’ however arguing over the reason for the breakdown will simply increase costs an unnecessarily delay the process.
Our experienced legal team can advise you of your options following the breakdown of your marriage and are here help you to decide what is the best way to proceed. Please contact us on 0161 927 3118 for a free 20 minute consultation.