When And Why Divorces Get Complicated


10 situations that can make a divorce complicated




With the advent of online divorces and DIY divorces its easy to mistakenly believe that divorces are a simple process. This often happens when people have not properly considered their own situation and the factors that can have affect the divorce process. Here we highlight situations that can make divorces more complicated in 3 different categories.

When there's children involved in the divorce


Custody battles is not just about the parents and children. Divorces can often lead to disputes where the dislike of the in-laws can result in further custody battles over the issue of visiting the child's grandparents.

New partner

Divorces can become especially complicated when the partner instigating the divorce is doing so because they have met someone else. Here, the children will often be manipulated to express dislike toward the divorcing parent's new partner. This can subsequently lead to council chaperoned meetings between the child and the divorcing parent's new partner.

International/cross border

If one partner decides to move abroad and take the children with them, they would need to acquire the father's and the court's permission to relocate the children. Failure to do so could lead to allegations of abduction and the parent being arrested.


When one partner is responsible for bad conduct

Gambling partner

If your partner has a gambling habit or has simply gambled significant amounts of the family money, then in certain cases the court will class this as bad conduct. Therefore, if there are still assets available the Court can ensure that the gambling partner receives less of the remaining assets.

Domestic abuse

If one partner has been physically abusive towards the other partner, causing them injury which impacts upon their earning capacity, the Court can penalise them to ensure the abused partner receives a greater share of the assets as additional compensation. This is of course if they haven't been arrested for domestic abuse in the first instance.

AWOL Partner

If your partner has abandoned you or has gone missing, you can still issue divorce proceedings and obtain a divorce in their absence. However, this is not a straightforward process as technical arguments have to be advanced.

When money or businesses is a cause for concern

Partner hiding assets

If it is proven that one partner has tried hiding assets intentionally, the Court can punish them by paying a contribution towards the other party’s costs and potentially being penalised in a reduced amount of the assets. Thats why it is sometimes necessary to use a forensic accountant to help ensure your partner is not trying to hide assets.

Business owner

If you or your partner share a business , the finances in the divorce can quickly become even more complicated. This is because the shares of the company will need to be valued and it may mean that the company will have to be sold if the other party can't buy the shares, which could also lead to third parties being involved

Corporate structures

If one partner is a business owner and does not have the right corporate strcuture in place then the other partner can become entitled to shares in the company or have a charge over the partner's shares. This can become problematic because when the shares of the company increase in value, the other partner can potentially claim a percentage of the share value increase.

Additionally, just as mentioned previously, your business owning partner may try to dispose of their shareholding and enjoy the capital received and therefore it is important to take emergency action by ensuring that the partner is prohibited from taking those steps.


Its not just the money you immediately have. With higher rates of divorce amongst retirees, the division of pension funds is an often overlooked issue in divorces.


What people don't realise about the finances

Most people don’t realise that a divorce itself does not dismiss financial claims that you and your partner have against one another. The financial claims have to be formally dismissed, and this is done separately to the divorce. You can dismiss the claims by way of a consent order, a court order, or the claims can be dismissed one way if one of the parties remarries. Most people will seek to dismiss their financial claims by way of a consent order, as this usually means matters have been negotiated between them and they have reached an agreement as to how the finances shall be divided up. If you do not dismiss your financial claims and leave your financial claims open, your partner will technically have a claim against any property, income or pension that you accrue in the future.


In the same way that people are biased to believe that they won't ever get a divorce, people can often be overly optimistic about the divorce process itself. That is why it is often important to get professional advice that helps you navigate through the complications. So if you need advice on overcoming these difficult situations, contact us today and we can guide you through the complications.