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VERY amicable split. No grounds for divorce, but both want one. Do we have to wait 2 yrs?

(52 Posts)
CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 17:57:57

XH moved out in Aug. We have sorted money, childcare/contact and have a plan for assets.

We're both in new relationships (although no-one committed adultery).

It'd be nice to get it sorted.

Should we just cite some 'hair in plughole' shit to get the job done?

(And yes - we both definitely want a divorce)

Spero Fri 04-Jan-13 18:00:55

If you can't wait 2 years, the only grounds for divorce are adultery (which is intolerable for you to accept) and unreasonable behaviour.

Be warned that some Judges won't just rubber stamp a few 'hair in plughole' type reasons and have sent petitions back to be re written - unreasonable behaviour has to be quite nasty. I have known a few 'amicable' divorces trip up when one partner was asked to sign up to examples of horrible behaviour. It is not nice to see it in black and white.

If neither of you wants to get married again any time soon, what is the big rush? Two years sep with consent is nice and neutral.

TerracottaPie Fri 04-Jan-13 18:03:30

As you're in relationships it can still be counted as adultery anyway. So that could be the less than 2 years way to do it.

Worked for me smile

(although the clean break order seemed to make it take forever to get that decree absolute)

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 18:08:32


You're right - 2 years isn't a long time.... But I just want to move on. I also think that both of us are relying on good will and it'd be nice to make it official.

One example I can think of is that we have 10k debt on a credit card in my name. I earn more than him, so I think I should keep the debt, but also the household goods and car. I can pay the debt, but also would benefit from the goods. He wants/needs neither. He has agreed to this plan. If I keep the debt, then what if in 23 months time, he decides that actually he does want a share of the car?

He also does childcare on one day that I work - this financially is very helpful (on top of his 20% child maintenance). What if he decides that actually it's no longer convenient. I'm also nervous that if his new girlfriend starts sticking her oar in, it could all go horribly wrong.

It's all very unofficial.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 18:09:21

Terracotta - did someone cite adultery despite the fact you'd 'split'?

TerracottaPie Fri 04-Jan-13 18:20:38

Yep, but it was agreed upon first. We had an amicable split too but like you didn't really want that 2 years of waiting to not be married anymore.

It was worded nicely by the solicitor! Something like 'My client is aware that you have entered into a new relationship since your mutually agreed separation and on those grounds is filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery'.

I don't think I've worded it quite right as it doesn't seem as nice as it actually was but you get the gist. DP wasn't named either so that probably helped swallow the 'adultery' part.

It is hard seeing it in black and white because it doesn't feel quite right when the new relationship didn't have anything to do with the marriage ending but I saw it as a means to an end.

Xenia Fri 04-Jan-13 18:23:44

Y0u are both committing adultery - sorry to break it to you.

So either of you can use that OR better one of you just write an unreasonable behaviour petition which will include things like did not pay enough attention, ignored my birthdays or rubbish like that. You can make one up for just about any marriage in the land as in England we basically have divorce on demand once you have been married a year.

Lots of people don't seem to realise that it is when the finances are sorted out and sealed at the court in a consent order that things are finalised, not when you reach a verbal agreement. So if you reach some consensus now but then in 2 years still not had a consent order at court and one of you wins the lottery or is earning more or fallen on hard times the needs are assessed at that point. If instead you have a "clean break" now sealed at court in a consent order then that is the end of it and much better/cleaner.

It might be hard to write a day's childcare a week into the order you and he can agree and have the court approve. Ours says as I earned 10x more that I pay the school and university costs whoever the children live with but you cannot force either parent to spend any time with the child. I suppose you could write into it that if he ceases to provide the care whilst the children are below school age then he will pay the day's cost of a nursery place for that day but that might be unusual to say and he might argue writing it down means he is prevented from earning more money and perhaps keeping a second family.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Fri 04-Jan-13 18:24:51

You can cite adultery because you are still married to each other. To be blunt, you are both having extra-marital relations so its adultery.


Glad you are having an amicable split though.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Fri 04-Jan-13 18:25:18

X-post grin

susanann Fri 04-Jan-13 18:25:43

What about getting an agreement drawn up by a solicitor/mediator ? Dont know if thats possible or even viable. just a thought

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 18:35:44

I did realise we were both committing adultery on each other, but hadn't thought we could use it to our 'advantage'.

Xenia - It's luck that one of his days off allows me to work... I couldn't write that in to any agreement. As far as I am concerned if I keep debt and assets, he can pay 20% of his income towards his children and see them as agreed. The childcare on one day was never going to be sustainable if he changed his job. I feel that's my responsibility to sort that out.

And yes - I would much rather sort it 'as is' now, than to leave it.... His parents are rich but unhealthy. I could stand to make a rocking inheritance if I hold on, but really I'm all for the clean break <polishes halo ironically>

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 18:36:15

Oh and we can keep our own pensions.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 18:36:57

I think seeing a solicitor and getting it finalised on grounds of adultery (worded politely) seems like a good idea actually.

Spero Fri 04-Jan-13 18:37:43

You can't just claim adultery - it has to be intolerable adultery! the fact that you are both committing it with other people might make that a difficult one to argue as you are both obviously quite tolerant of each other's adultery...

But could be worth a go. Just not sure I see the urgency. You can enter into an agreement now about your assets, as long as you both get independent legal advice, it will be hard to wiggle out of it later.

houseelfdobby Fri 04-Jan-13 18:40:48

You can just cite adultery. There is no wording in the legislation about "intolerable". You just have to have a marriage that is irretrievably broken down which it clearly is if you both have new relationships. I have seen unreasonable behaviour petitions cause all sorts of unintended hurt and trouble. Go for adultery.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 18:41:55

Haha @ tolerable adultery.

The thing is, this marriage has been dead for a while. He didn't actually move out until about 18 months after we should have made it happen. It feels really drawn out to wait for that time again.

Spero Fri 04-Jan-13 18:44:22

The legislation is quite clear. Matrimonial Causes Act

Divorce on breakdown of marriage.

(1)Subject to section 3 below, a petition for divorce may be presented to the court by either party to a marriage on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

(2)The court hearing a petition for divorce shall not hold the marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless the petitioner satisfies the court of one or more of the following facts, that is to say—

(a)that the respondent has committed adultery and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent;

(b)that the respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent;

Spero Fri 04-Jan-13 18:46:18

So you could potentiallly run into problems as it could be argued this is a case of 'tolerable adultery' if you are both at it.

Probably there would be absolutely no problem at all and you would get your petition. Or you could run into a jobsworth district judge who rejects your petition and you have to start again. Pretty slim risk I grant you.

But I still don't get why there is any rush.

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 18:46:22

Thank-you Spero. Genuine question... What advantage is there to waiting?

CuriosityKilledTheCrapTree Fri 04-Jan-13 18:47:15

Pressed post too soon...

Is it just that we don't have grounds and shouldn't cheat the system?

houseelfdobby Fri 04-Jan-13 18:48:03

yes, so not "intolerable adultery": finding it intolerable to live with the respondent follows naturally on from the adultery.

Spero Fri 04-Jan-13 18:49:17

You don't risk paying double costs on having to resubmit a petition that is rejected first time.
You don't run any risk of putting your signature to a legal doc that is not actually based on true facts - probably no real risk here but it would make me feel uneasy.

I get that psychologically you want this 'done and dusted' but I am not sure why this has to be so important. the relationship has died a death, you are both happy with other people. I would just wait and do two years sep with mutual agreement.

Spero Fri 04-Jan-13 18:50:20

Sorry houself, don't understand your distinction. My point was you can't just cite 'adultery' and be done with it.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Fri 04-Jan-13 21:01:22

Er spero the adultery does not have to be "intolerable", there has to be adultery. Breathe.. And the petitioner must find it intolerable to live with the other.. 2 different things.

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Fri 04-Jan-13 21:03:35

OP. if you can show the marriage has been dead for 2 years already, that counts. It's hard though - you basically have to show you were living as 2 separate households under the same route.

I would go for the adultery.

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