Does how my relationship ended affect my case?
Often relationships break down due to someone behaving badly such as having an affair or hiding important information from their partner. This can often continue after the end of that relationship. However bad behaviour is not the same as bad conduct in Court proceedings. What the Court considers to be bad conduct is rarely a test of what is socially acceptable behaviour. It is what is dictated by the law.
Divorce and Finances
The Court is extremely reluctant to examine the cause of a relationship breaking down in any detail. Whilst relevant for divorce it does not lead to one party having the upper hand in any financial proceedings. Conduct is only looked at in financial proceedings arising from divorce if it would be unfair to ignore it. An example of this that is regularly used is a case where the husband was convicted for attempting to murder the wife. This level of conduct is rare and so it is only relevant in a small number of cases. There is a general rule which discourages an argument being put before the Court about bad conduct.
However, if you conduct your case poorly then the Court will consider this as a factor. This is normally where one party has refused to provide information about their finances (known as non-disclosure) or if they have deliberately made false statements to the Court. If this occurs, then the Court may take this into consideration when deciding what order to make.
The Court is even less interested in the details of a relationship breakdown where a couple is unmarried and there are court proceedings relating to their shares in any properties. The Court will simply want to know what is going to happen with those properties and the circumstances about the parties’ finances relating to any equity in the property only.
Again, if one party were to make false statements to the Court deliberately or to refuse to provide vital documents then this could impact in the case but in terms of the parties behaviour in their personal lives then the Court will not consider this to be a factor of conduct to be considered.
If your ex-partner is behaving poorly then it may or may not be bad conduct. If you are not sure about this issue, then feel free to get in touch for more information. At Watson Thomas Solicitors we offer a free initial consultation for all new clients, please contact us to discuss any queries you may have regarding protecting your assets upon divorce or separation and we would be more than happy to help.