No-fault divorce in England and Wales means anyone seeking a divorce has to establish one thing: that the marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably. Contrary to fault-based systems there is no requirement for a person seeking a divorce to blame his or her spouse or civil partner for the breakdown in the marriage. As a result, allegations of unreasonable behaviour have no place in the procedural aspect of securing a divorce in England and Wales.

In reality however, behaviour that a spouse or civil partner finds unreasonable or unacceptable will very often be the catalyst for divorce.

Before the Divorce and Dissolution Act (no-fault divorce) came into force in 2022, unreasonable behaviour was the most common ground for divorce. That doesn’t mean that England is full of unreasonable people. Allegations of unreasonable behaviour under the fault-based system of divorce that existed before 2022 meant simply that in all the circumstances of the marriage, it was not reasonable for the person seeking a divorce to stay living with his or her spouse or partner.

What constituted unreasonable behaviour was an entirely subjective matter. Some spouses or civil partners might feel aggrieved if their partner goes for a drink with his work mates before coming home every night of the working week; others might regard it as perfectly normal and acceptable.

If you are thinking about beginning divorce proceedings you can get in touch with us for an initial, no-obligation discussion. No-fault divorce means that, if your spouse or civil partner is behaving in a way that you find intolerable you can apply for a divorce without having to formally describe the behaviour in your divorce application. This could make it more straightforward for you to reach agreement on divorce-related matters like finances and child arrangements.

 

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Divorce Scenarios

The scenarios below do not relate to any individual clients of ours but the facts and the outcomes relate to some similar experiences in our practice.

International Divorce

The Scenario

Mr G is a UK resident. Seven years ago when working in the Emirates he married a US citizen. They married in Cyprus and subsequently lived together for two years before his wife returned to the US. He has lost touch with her and mail to her parents address is returned with a note “she wants nothing to do with you”.

Our Solution

Mr G applied for a divorce in England after the couple had been separated for several years, although the marriage was in Cyprus.

We obtained an Order from the court deeming that it was enough to post the divorce papers to his wife’s parents because even though she would not acknowledge receipt, undoubtedly her parents would pass them on. This was done and we obtained the divorce.

If you have questions, contact us now, we can help you.

Henry Brookman Discusses: Divorce

Co-habitation

The Scenario

Mr R separated from his partner of 10 years with whom he had a five year old son. Their apartment was in her name. This came about because he was working abroad when they began their relationship. He paid half the purchase price into his partner’s account and she completed the purchase paying the other half. Now she had the property up for sale.

Our Solution

We took detailed instructions and put a block on the title. We then located the evidence to prove his claim. He offered to buy out his partner but she then insisted the apartment was worth more than the price she had been offering it for sale.

We issued an application following which the property was professionally valued and Mr R bought the remaining half share. She then refused to let Mr R see their son. We obtained a declaration of parental responsibility and visiting rights for Mr R.

Property Business

The Scenario

Bernard consulted us. His brother Arthur is a property developer who generally has a portfolio of about 5 or 6 properties that are in the course of being renovated and sold on. Bernard often invests his money in specific properties, with Arthur keeping a spreadsheet that shows what share Bernard has in each property. Arthur and his wife have separated and his wife has applied for freezing orders in respect of all the properties. Bernard is anxious that his money will be treated as part of the matrimonial assets being divided between Arthur and his wife.

Our Solution

The critical question is for the court to establish that Bernard's share of the particular properties are his in his own right, so any orders that the court might make between Arthur and his wife will respect Bernard's interests. This is achieved by making an application to intervene in the matrimonial proceedings so that Bernard's interests can be protected. That enables us to represent Bernard rather than him being dependent on his brother simply asserting it- with the risk of being disbelieved.

Separation

The Scenario

Mr M consulted us concerning his wife’s behaviour. She had a long-standing drug problem and would come and go without warning from their home. She had spent large amounts on drugs emptying bank accounts and incurring debt to pay for them. He and their children were very upset.

Our Solution

We advised him that he could seek a sole occupation order which would keep her away from the home. He was anticipating a substantial bonus in the next six months and asked whether excluding her sooner would mean this was not taken into account in any financial settlement.

We advised that a Court would need to include it as an asset but that did not necessarily then mean that it would then be equally divided. The question of what was a fair division of property was a second stage calculation. In view of his wife?s waste of their resources an equal division would not be appropriate.

Civil Partnership

The Scenario

Mr E was looking into entering into a civil partnership with Mr F. Mr E had substantial assets such as a house valued at £1 million, investments valued at £3 million and a pension worth £1 million.

Although Mr E felt that the parties loved one another and that their relationship would endure, Mr E wanted to protect his position in case there was any change after the parties had entered into a civil partnership.

Our Solution

We advised Mr E that the best way to protect the position would be for the parties to enter into a Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement, which could regulate the parties’ finances if the civil partnership came to an end. The Agreement encompassed all aspects such as their income, their capital assets and their pension assets. The entire matter was dealt with amicably within a few weeks. The parties signed the Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement and subsequently entered into a civil partnership.

Henry Brookman Discusses: Common Divorce Myths

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I had applied for a free consultation and I was contacted in a very short timeframe. Thank you so much for the insightful and thorough consultation, Kevin Danagher. You made me feel at ease and you provided clear expectations with the initial info I had provided... I have now a much better understanding on my query.

Feb 2024   Sonia Accardi

We had a very useful first consultation with Amber Matheson today. Amber took the time to understand our (somewhat complicated) set-up, and offered good, understandable advice on next steps. She followed up with a very thorough email clarifying what we had discussed. Highly recommended.

Feb 2024   Lucie

Lovely friendly experience. All questions were answered so that I understood completely.

Dec 2023   Ali Catlin

Very balanced, fair and pragmatic advice. Thoroughly recommend!!

Nov 2023   James Elliott

Henry graciously provided his time for a consultation. I found him to be highly knowledgeable, empathetic and he provided excellent advice which put my mind at ease. Would highly recommend Henry and his firm.

Oct 2023   Allan Ang

Henry Brookman went above and beyond during the free consultation, and even overran the allocated time. He provided invaluable professional advice in a courteous manner. I recommend his firm without reservation.

Sep 2023   Mario Ignatov

I only had my initial free review with Amelia yet I already feel much more strengthened in my legal and financial position. I am currently reflecting on the steps I want to take to negotiate my desired outcome of the financial settlement but, when I am ready to use the services of a lawyer, Amelia is definitely the top on my list.

Sep 2023   Nahid Toubia

I had a zoom consultation with Lauren Moir and she was incredible. Very patient, insightful and reassuring. She also advised me based on my previous conversations with another firm and also clarified various positions I am in. Highly recommend.

Aug 2023   Gary Hawes

I was very impressed with the friendly, helpful and professional service offered by Brookman Solicitors. The generous advice and knowledge offered during the initial free consultation has enabled us to have a much better understanding of our case and plan a way forward.

Jul 2023   Peter Jackson

I had a first consultation with Kevin, who very diligently and professionally provided an exhaustive overview of the divorce process and the best approach for my specific case.

Jul 2023   Giulia Matteo

Great service and excellent advice at the initial consultation. I would certainly recommend and use in the future.

Jul 2023   Tom James

Spoke to a kind solicitor this morning who took an hour of her time to talk me through some advice relating to a difficult separation.... She was clear and helpful with her advice, leaving me feeling much more confident with the process ahead of me.

Jun 2023   Luke Taylor

Mr Brookman provided very clear advice that left me with no doubt about the options and next steps. Getting specific advice with the requirements in the different jurisdictions was particularly useful so I won’t need to consult another lawyer outside of the UK

May 2023   Julian Anthony

From initial contact I found all staff extremely helpful and professional. My options were made clear, my query was dealt with in a sympathetic way. Would highly recommend Brookman Solicitors.

Mar 2023   seamus mcguinness

The initial consultation I have just completed with Henry Brookman was very informative; he was very open and honest about my situation, the legalities of the matter and the extent of how his firm could help.

Nov 2022   Kimberley Noakes

About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Partner

Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is the senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

Partner

Philip Morton

Recommended by The Legal 500, Philip is an expert in all areas of family law, including domestic and international financial disputes, fraud and commercial dispute resolution.

Partner

Natasha Slabas

Expert in all areas of family law, often involving cases that have an international element, including work in relation to financial settlements following divorce.

Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and is recommended by the Legal 500.

Partner

Mark Rennie

Mark is the Group Head of the Horsham Family Law team. He specialises in all areas of matrimonial law, including complex divorce and financial disputes, and is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Nigel Winter

A highly experienced solicitor, Nigel has expertise in collaborative law, divorce, contested litigation, relationship agreements, and children matters. Nigel is recommended by The Legal 500.

Partner

Samantha Jago

Partner at our Guildford office and recommended by The Legal 500, Samantha has specialist expertise in divorce, children matters, complex international cases, and is a trained mediator.

Partner

Amanda Glass

Amanda is a highly experienced family law partner providing expert advice on all aspects of family law, divorce and separation with an emphasis on financial remedy cases.

Senior Associate

Joanna Potbury

Family law specialist based in Brighton advising on divorce, cohabitation agreements, children, post-nuptial agreements, and domestic violence. Joanna is recommended by The Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kirsty Kelleher

Kirsty is a specialist family law solicitor recommended by The Legal 500. An expert in divorce, financial matters, child-related disputes and contentious probate cases.

Senior Associate

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

Senior Associate

Ella Welsby

Known for her sensitivity and discretion combined with significant expertise, Ella advises on all family issues including high-value and multi-jurisdiction divorce and complex financial and children matters.

Senior Associate

Gemma Garrett

Based in Horsham, Gemma is a specialist advising on all areas of family law including divorce and separation (often involving jurisdiction issues), complex financial matters, and children matters.

Senior Solicitor

Susan Hayes

Susan qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and is based at our Brighton office. She is a longstanding member of the Law Society Specialist Children Panel and Family Law Panel. Susan is also a trained Collaborative Lawyer.

Associate Solicitor

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, recommended by The Legal 500 and experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings.

Associate Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Recommended by The Legal 500, Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings.

Associate Solicitor

Lauren Moir

Lauren is a highly regarded specialist family law solicitor, based at our Guildford office. She advises on divorce, family finances, children matters, domestic abuse, cohabitee issues, and relationship agreements.

Solicitor

Rachael Au

Rachael is a highly capable member of the family team in Brighton. She specialises in family law, advising on divorce, civil partnerships, financial matters, and children issues.

Solicitor

Amber Matheson

Based at the Guildford office, Amber has experience dealing with family matters including divorce, finances, separation after cohabitation, arrangements for children and leave to remove cases.

Solicitor

Amelia Groom

Amelia has experience across a full range of family matters, including divorce, complex disputes regarding finances that range from trusts through to cryptocurrencies, and arrangements for children.

Accounts Manager

Evdokia Dikova

Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

Front of House Manager

Patricia Antonio

Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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If you have questions, contact us now, we can help you.

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Or call us on +44 (0)20 7430 8470