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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Should how you behave stop your divorce financial settlement claims

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The behaviour of one of the people in the relationship has, now, long been seen as irrelevant (in law) when looking at the financial divorce settlement. Seen as irrelevant by the law only that is!

I say this as most people might think that when, say, a wife has behaved very badly then this should lower her financial settlement. Why should one spouse support the appallingly badly behaved other as much as one who behaved well?

It has long been hard for us specialist divorce solicitors to explain why the bad behaviour is not taken into account at all. The honest answer, I guess, is that parliament decided it should not be. This was with the aim of keeping the cost of divorce down and is something I very much agree with but this aim does not work well when one person is left feeling let down by the system and incredulous that the law is that which it is. This tends to cause aggressive Court applications in other areas of the case.

It is time to make seriously bad behaviour relevant again.

One Judge has made a slight move that way but in an extremely seriously bad behaviour case. The Telegraph reports that:

Not only had the man sexually abused the children, the judge said, but he had also posted pictures of them online, named them and their mothers and indulged in "chat logs" to describe sexual abuse of children.

He recalled that Judge Blacksell, presiding over the criminal trial last year, had referred to the logs as "unrestrained filth and depravity of the worst type".


This man effectively had all his claims wiped out despite a 25 year contribution and also the fact that about £4.5 million was involved.

Good thing too!

This should happen in many more cases. Do you agree?

Andrew Woolley
Divorce Solicitor

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