David Rosen & Co

Divorce Crossroads: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Divorce crossroads when a couple contemplates if you should stay or should you go?

Why such a glum perspective on marriage to start the new year?

Well, part of my work involves divorce, helping couples navigate a relationship crossroads. 

It is commonly known that statistically, when a series of bank holidays are upon us in the winter months, that families find themselves spending more time together without interruption of work and business.


Many enjoy this time. Many do not! Some people suffer cabin-fever, when faced with their supposed partner for life. They may have grown apart, or pursue different interests, or place their focus in different directions.

Do You Have That “Blue Monday” Feeling?

This, coupled with early December payment of wages, and therefore a considerably longer time before the next wages in January 2024, seems a long way away. Somewhere between around now, and the third Monday in January, known as ‘Blue Monday’, when people are generally tight on money, financial pressures increase, emotional tension increases and often something gives. Something breaks. Hopefully not, I say.

Ending the Cycle: Navigating the Steps to Divorce.

There are at least three distinct stages to finalising your divorce. 

  1. Civil Divorce.
  2. Financial matters.
  3. Children matters.

Whilst this article focuses specifically upon civil divorce in family law of England and Wales, I will publish a series of articles in the coming weeks to visit upon each stage.

When "I Do" Becomes "Do I?"

Rekindling Happiness vs Reimagining A New And Different Life .

Let me start by saying that you should not divorce without first considering the options of “rekindling happiness” or “reimagining a new and different life”.

You should find a way to work things out, and to work together. Find common denominators, and shared interests, values and dreams. Seek marriage counselling. Do not be too proud to share your concerns and hangups with a third party if it means trying to save your marriage.

When Your Family Unit Includes Children.

Children thrive in a secure family environment. There is a routine and a predictability about it, especially when both parents love them.

The British Government’s view, having adopted the psychological analysis, wish couples to act in the best interests of children. If parents are arguing with one another, but can keep those arguments behind closed doors, it is better to stay together for the sake of the comfort and stability of the children.


However, the advice from these psychologists to the Government is that if parents cannot keep their arguments behind closed doors, it is better for the children, that the parents do part ways.

Children aside, marriage is a holy union. It is a sacrosanct bonding of two people in holy matrimony.

Broken Vows: The Historical Blame-Game that Led to Divorce .

In English family law, this sacrosanct union was reflected and deep-rooted in law since Henry VIII. English family law did not make it easy for couples to divorce.

There were five reasons to divorce, which all required there to be ‘blame’:

  1. Nullity.
  2. Unreasonable behaviour.
  3. Adultery.
  4. 2 years’ separation.
  5. 5 years’ abandonment.

The situation at times, became farcical because in truth there are a multitude of reasons as to why people no longer find favour in each other’s eyes. There is generally never one thing alone to cause divorce – it is a case of six of one, and half a dozen of another. Or as one District Judge once put it to me “a case of six and 2 threes”.

Two rational and logical thinking lawyers could think up three reasons for unreasonable behaviour that were anodyne in content, rather than acidic. It still required one side to divorce another, but finding three neutral reasons enough to be unreasonable, but not to be too sensational or offensive that it might cause the other party to defend: It was an exercise akin to treading on eggshells, and there was an art to it.

Ending the Blame Game: No-Fault Divorce Ushers in a New Era of Separation.

Since 6th April 2022, when new divorce reforms came into force by way of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, the ‘blame game’ ended in favour of ‘No-Fault divorce’. The 2020 Act amends the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

The new divorce laws cover marriage, civil partnership, nullity, and judicial separation. ‘No fault’, or ‘No blame’, creates a new culture, and a new dawn in family law. 

New Language And New Approaches.

A divorce petition is now a divorce application. A petitioner is now an applicant. A decree nisi, is now a conditional order. A decree absolute is now a final order.

The divorce procedure is accessible online. The fee is currently £593. You can get help paying the fees if you qualify.

Both parties can make a joint application for divorce in which case they will be known as applicant 1 and applicant 2. Otherwise, one can issue against another, and they will be applicant and respondent.

After 20 weeks, you will be granted a Conditional Order. You then wait a further six weeks before you can apply for a Final Order.

It strongly suggested that you do not apply for a Final Order, before having obtained a Get, and a Financial Order, and child arrangements.

Do You Need A Family Lawyer?

In the new system, there are compelling grounds to say you do not need a lawyer. The online forms are simple to complete. You will need to upload a copy of your civil marriage certificate and know the full names and addresses and dates of birth and place and date of marriage. If you were married in another jurisdiction, you will need the documentation to be translated.

However straightforward the new forms and process, sometimes your personal circumstances are more complex or there is not sufficient common ground to navigate the path without professional, expert advice.  In that case, consulting a family lawyer may be prudent, for either a one-off discussion or for support throughout the divorce process.

I have an extensive track record; a deep understanding of family law matters and a strong moral code and pragmatic approach. I will guide you along the path to find a kinder and fairer separation to complete the civil, financial and children matters necessary to finalise your divorce and embark on new beginnings.

Professor Rosen is a solicitor-advocate in practice and principal of David Rosen & Co. He specialises in family law, divorce and financial settlements. David is a member of Resolution, and the Society of Legal Scholars amongst others. He is a full academic Professor of Professional Practice at Brunel University Law School where he lectures one day each week.

Rosen & Co logo - David Rosen Solicitor and Advocate

29 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3EE

[email protected]

Tel. 020 3657 4295


Scroll to Top