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With an increase in divorce proceedings, how is divorce approached? Kaleel Anwar discusses

Despite an increase in the number of divorce proceedings being issued in England and Wales; for the majority of us, the ‘D’ word is not something which is approached without careful consideration.

Some celebrities take a different view. Russell Brand filed for divorce from Katy Perry in December 2011 and cited 'irreconcilable differences' as the reason for the split. It has recently been reported that Brand sent the 27-year-old singer an emotional e-mail in which he has asked for a second chance and said ending their 14 month marriage was a 'mistake'.

Taking a bolshie attitude to filing for a divorce has its obvious flaws. Issuing proceedings on the basis of anger, jealousy or simply without thinking it through can lead to long lasting bitterness. Most of the time, this can be avoided by instructing the right lawyer who can make the client understand that their goals can be reached without taking an aggressive stance. The flaw in the English Legal System in not encompassing for a no fault divorce is a secondary issue. What is important is the increasing reliance on the fact of ‘unreasonable behavior’, like in the Brand case.

As a divorce lawyer I see volcanic animosity gradually building on a daily basis. My position is to ensure that the client is fully aware of the consequences their actions can have on their everyday life. The transition from a frustrated initial appointment to a subsequent amicable financial settlement reflects deeply on the way the case is handled. Following Resolution’s Code of Practice (dealing with family law in a non confrontational manner), in my experience, is a useful mechanism for all the parties involved in the expensive and often stressful process.

Children are also vulnerable to the negativity caused from litigation and can suffer significantly from parental relationship breakdown. Seeking help from a professional who can assist in making a smooth transition is beneficial both from a practical, but more importantly from a moral perspective.

Don’t get me wrong, bringing the ‘D’ word to the forefront has had its positive effects. In a democratic society having the ability and independence to bring a legal end to a marriage is vital. It should however be treated with respect and not as a weapon of temporary angst during the course of a relationship dispute.

Working in the divorce capital of the world increases my cynicism. In a power hungry society where fearless confidence is rewarded, I can see how the words ‘I’ll see you in Court’ can seem appropriate. However, life isn’t an American sitcom and the reality is, listening to right legal professional at an early stage can make all the difference.

By Kaleel Anwar

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