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When should you tell your spouse you want a divorce?

When should you divorce? You know your marriage is over and that you want a divorce. An agony aunt may tell you that you should talk it through with your other half, that telling them how you’re feeling is the right – and only –  thing to do. You may even be tempted to start organising a divorce party, unable to wait to tell your friends that you’ve finally made this huge, life-altering decision.

But, until you have spoken to a solicitor about getting a divorce, telling your spouse or your friends may not always be the best option. In fact, it could have serious consequences for your finances.


Where in the world your divorce goes through and who files for the divorce can make all the difference to how your financial settlement is decided.


Filing for divorce

In England and Wales, it makes no difference whether you’re the petitioner or the respondent. If you end up in an English or Welsh court, your finances will be decided in exactly the same way with the same set or rules in either case.

But this may not be the case in other countries. Being the petitioner or the respondent could make all the difference to how much maintenance or property you come away with – or indeed how much property or maintenance your spouse is entitled to from you.

Telling your spouse you’re thinking of getting a divorce (or, indeed, your friends telling your spouse) could give them the head start they need to file for divorce in a different country – probably a country that has beneficial rules for them – potentially impacting what you’ll come away with in the financial settlement.

when should you divorce


Where in the world can I get divorced?

Just because you were married in one country, it doesn’t mean you’ll get divorced there. International divorce is a hugely complicated area and where you get divorced can have vastly different financial implications for you.

There are many factors that can affect where you can get divorced, including where your marriage took place, if either of you was born outside of England or Wales and whether you own a property abroad.

If you’ve lived some or all of your married life in another country, this could also have implications for where your divorce could take place.

Even the procedures of financial disclosure – where you each disclose your financial situation during the divorce process – can vary greatly between different countries.

All of these factors mean that your financial settlement could look very different depending which country your divorce is processed in.

Telling your spouse before you have sought specialist legal advice could result in your spouse filing for divorce in a country where the rules would mean you could come away with significantly less money or assets than you would have done if your divorce had gone through elsewhere.


Other articles that may be of interest to you?

Divorce financial settlement and my new partner – What is the effect?

Financial Settlement In Divorce – Your Guide

How to negotiate a financial settlement and the dangers of getting it wrong!

Financial Settlement after Divorce

Divorce Settlement: Who gets what?

What is the divorce process?

When is decree absolute granted in a divorce?

Decree Nisi – What does this mean in a divorce?

What are the first steps to divorce?

Is a cheap divorce really possible?


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you with the question of when should you divorce?

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to fair divorce settlements, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on when should you divorce?

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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18th July 2016

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