The truth about divorce: understanding the process

As one of the leading divorce solicitors in Brighton, Martin Cray is keen to share his industry insight into the process of divorce to help clients myth bust some misconceptions around divorce while providing a true insight into the divorce process.


Let me explain some of the simple truth about divorce ancillary relief that’s all about the money and contact, access to children. Firstly the actual divorce process is a really simple box-ticking exercise that could be accomplished quickly, easily and cheaply.

The real difficulty arises over money and often children.
Let me start with the money side. Firstly, a few stark truths. Often, and I can only tell you, just from my experience of over 30 years, that a lot of what is said by the husband, the wife in the early stages about what they will and won’t do with the money can be completely disregarded because it’s far too early for them to really understand the position, to have understood themselves in the situation and to have really understood it sufficiently to be able to say things upon which they can rely.

The legal profession generally tends to ignore the vast majority of what is said at an early stage. The real truth, the real nugget from all of this, is what called the Form E, which is the form that you complete explaining absolutely everything about your finances and your forms are exchanged and then real progress can be made.

A lot of couples waste a great deal of time trying to discuss and negotiate without the Form E-s. My advice to you is that is a complete waste of time. I found the most effective way of dealing with it on an amicable proper fair basis is for each side to know the full and complete financial situation as quickly as possible so they can then either consider it themselves or talk to their solicitors about it to try and find out what the court is likely to impose upon the couple as far as money is concerned if the couple can’t work it out.

Now Form E is an extraordinary form drafted by the Lord Chancellor’s office many years ago and if there is any element of your finances that is not included then you have missed something in the form.

So my first bit of advice to you is that you get hold of Form E, it’s on the internet and you can easily download it, and fill it out completely or as best as you can and then discuss it with a solicitor. I would certainly be happy to talk to you about it. And then when the advice is given about what the court is likely to impose, both husband and wife will know with a quite high degree of probability what will happen if they are not able to sort it out between the two of them. They will know what the judge will force them to accept whether they like it or not, because that’s what judges do.

The point of this is that you can then work out what you want to offer or what you want to accept on the finances, bearing in mind what will happen if you don’t reach an agreement. Without that element, essentially everything that you say and do is a bit of a waste of time. Once you know what the court will impose, you can negotiate from that standpoint. Once that is done, once each side knows the position, you can then work out a rough plan and then increasingly fine-tune it until you have an agreement. All I can tell you is that over the years, it has always proved to be an exceptionally good way of dealing with this. I have seen many people dealing with it in other ways, and I have never found a way that is as successful as that.

So that is what I advise you to do. Certainly, there is no downside whatever in you getting hold of Form E, filling it out, bringing it to me or any other specialist family solicitor, to find out what a court is likely to impose, then you’ll know what you’re dealing with. What you will find is that for a husband, the father of children, it is likely that there will be a very high financial burden and for the wife and the mother the court will ensure that there is all the money necessary for the fair reasonable provision of the wife and the children.

I do hope this has been of help to you, if I can assist any further please just give me a call.


If you are looking for a divorce solicitor in Brighton and would like to discuss your situation further please get in contact with Martin Cray by calling 01273 673226 or emailing

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