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Will the court take my partner’s conduct into account?

Your partner’s conduct can be taken into account by the court, but only with regards to your civil partnership dissolution. Conduct will not generally be taken into account when it comes to deciding your finances.

In England and Wales there is no such thing as a ‘no blame’ dissolution. This means that the grounds for dissolution in England and Wales have to be either behaviour, separation for more than two years (with consent), separation for five years (without consent) or desertion. When you petition the court for your dissolution you will be able to take into account how your partner has behaved and can use this as a reason for the dissolution by putting it within the behaviour category.

Generally, the court will only take your partner’s conduct into account in circumstances where it is so extreme that the court cannot ignore it. This will be the case in only very limited circumstances. If you are unsure whether your spouse’s behaviour is extreme enough for the court to take it into account then it is best to talk to your solicitor to get independent legal advice.

However, if your partner’s conduct is bad with regards to the actual litigation process then the court could order them to contribute to your costs. For example, if they are not responding to court orders or are somehow purposefully holding up the process then the court may take this into account and you could be awarded some money towards your legal costs.

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