As grounds for divorce go, this was probably one of the most unusual.  I’ve never heard of a war as causing the breakdown of a marriage, and certainly not a war that neither party had had any direct involvement in.  My client and his soon to be ex wife were middle class hard working people from suburbia, no more likely to be caught up in any front line fighting than Prince Harry.

Nevertheless it was the war in the Ukraine that led my tearful client to be sitting in front of me on a cold wet Wednesday March afternoon, contemplating the end of his marriage.

This is not a case of ethnic diversity or boundary disputes.  This is far more fundamental and often as a solicitor makes me wonder if clients should actually have to go to counselling before they come to me.

The relevant facts of the case are that my client is a fanatical Chelsea fan and on hearing about the club being seized by the government, the wife expressed pleasure.

You can look at this in two ways.

You can see this as a man being devastated by the possible demise of his first love, and the fact that his wife doesn’t understand what a blow this is to him.  Talk about kicking a man when he’s down.

Or, you can see this as a long suffering woman being tired of being second best to her husband’s other love, enjoying the idea that she might feel like she came first for a change.

Or perhaps it’s two people who don’t know how to communicate any longer.

In reality anything that YOU consider unreasonable behaviour is likely to be sufficient grounds for divorce.  That could be his unrealistic devotion to a sporting team or her ability to spend money like water.  I’ve even seen petitions based on such seemingly innocuous complaints like he eats with his mouth open or she talks about Westlife too much.

Taking a step back, unless they’ve done something very serious (such as violence or infidelity) then to save yourself a lot of time and heartache, I’d strongly recommend you talk to a counsellor before you talk to a solicitor.  You may find that the answers you want lie more in talking, even if it’s just to help you both agree on how you separate and move on.  An invitation from your (soon to be ex) partner to meet them at a counselling session to try and talk things through is going to be a lot less confrontational than receiving a letter from a solicitor or a court.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.   Good advice doesn’t have to mean big legal fees.