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Does it matter who files for Divorce?

Divorce - Who files first

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About Farhana Shahzady

Farhana is a Director, Solicitor, Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator at Family Law Partners.

As well as dealing with the full range of matrimonial, co-habitation and separation issues, Farhana’s expertise is in contested financial disputes at court.  Farhana is accustomed to dealing with the full spectrum of court applications in relation to matrimonial finance.   She is also committed, whenever possible, to negotiating settlements since that invariably helps to reduce conflict and assists with the rehabilitative process.

Farhana also has considerable expertise in the full spectrum of children disputes, representing both mothers and fathers in issues over child arrangements.

She is committed to empowering her clients so that they are able to understand and take control of the process with a view to moving forward constructively.  Farhana is also a trained collaborative lawyer who recognises the importance of problem solving rather than point scoring in sensitive family matters.

A dedicated and forward-thinking family lawyer, Farhana holds various positions that reflect her commitment to the profession together with her dispute resolution credentials. She is a Resolution Director (one of only 20 nationwide), a member of Resolution’s Publications Committee and sits on the Resolution National Committee. Farhana is a skilled Collaborative Lawyer and is a member of North London Pod and South West London Pod.

A passionate advocate of women’s rights, Farhana is a volunteer family law advisor at Rights of Women. She also regularly contributes to national and regional media stories on the subject of family law and co-authored the Resolution Family Law Handbook which launched in 2020. Farhana also presents on financial remedies for Resolution and has contributed to Westlaw Encyclopaedia, Reuters Masterclass and Expert Guides.

Transcript of Video

Farhana Shahzady: Does it make a difference, whether you’re a petitioner or a respondent in the divorce? I might ask this often as a lawyer. I mean, the answer is as a petitioner, you control the timing. And as a respondent, you have less say. so you absolutely don’t decide when the petition goes in. You don’t necessarily decide when it completes.

And if you are pursuing a fault based divorce, you pursue your cost. So in terms of the cost of a lawyer divorce, About 1500 pounds in my view of which 550 pounds is a divorce petition fee. If you’re acting in person, in fact, you have no cost of a lawyer. You’re just paying the petition fee of 550 pounds.

And of course, if you’re a petition of pursuing a non fault based divorce, such as two year separation with consent, you’re not going to be pursuing costs. The usual rule at that point is that you cover your own cost and the respondent will cover his or her own cost. But when I’m dealing with clients who are very invested or whether they should be the petitioner I will say it probably doesn’t matter in practice because from a court’s point of view the court will know it’s half a dozen of one and half a dozen of another.

So in terms of whether it makes a difference. Yes. If you want to control timing, but in the big scale of things, no, it probably makes no difference.

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