The Pros and Cons of Planning Divorce Secretly

top secret written on a brown file in typewriter text symbolic of planning a divorce secretly.

Not every divorce is expected or even a mutual decision. So it’s not uncommon for one spouse to begin planning a divorce secretly. 

Although some divorces are completely out of the blue — for example, if one party has been unfaithful — it’s often a gradual breakdown of the marriage that proves to be the killer blow. Regardless of the grounds for divorce, one spouse may believe that planning divorce secretly is the best solution. In this post, we’ll discuss the concept of planning a divorce in secret and list a few pros and cons of doing so.

Pros

It Gives You Time to Think Things Through

Due to the magnitude of the decision and how much a divorce will impact both you and your spouse, there’s a good case for giving yourself as much time as possible to think it over before you file for divorce. Planning in secret will allow you to seek the advice and guidance of a family lawyer before you can make any official decisions. You never know, you may have a change of heart — and it’s better to change your mind before a divorce rather than in the middle of it.

Allows You to Shop around for a Family Lawyer

As we mentioned above, planning will give you more time to shop around for a family lawyer who is skilled and knowledgeable in their field — and also suits your needs as a client. Just because a divorce solicitor looks great on paper, it doesn’t mean their approach will suit you. Once the divorce process has begun, things can get stressful and complicated quickly, which can sometimes lead to you rushing your decision about the best legal representation for you.

Gain an Overview of Your Marital Assets

The division of marital assets is a vital aspect of the divorce process and is often the catalyst for hostility. Having time to assess your assets and establish exactly what you’re entitled to will save you time and effort later on. With that said, divorce settlements will require both parties to agree (eventually) on a split which they feel is fair, so doing so beforehand will give you some idea of your share, but you’ll have to file for divorce before you get an accurate figure.  

Cons

Planning Divorce Secretly Can Lead to Hostility

Even if you have been secretly planning divorce with no malice in mind, your spouse may see it as sneaky or underhand, and so hostility could arise before the process has even begun. Hostility could also prove to be an issue during the divorce proceedings as it can make negotiating emotion-fuelled and less about actual logic. A hostile environment is also a terrible thing for children to experience.

It Could Be a Shock for Your Children

No matter how difficult divorce is for a couple, it’s often their children who are impacted the most. So it’s essential to do everything you can to make sure the divorce process is as trauma-free as possible. The one thing worse for kids than a divorce is being completely blindsided by divorcing parents who — to their knowledge — were perfectly happy. In this situation, it’s vital you prepare your children for what is sure to be a challenging period.

It Could Lead to Poor Decisions Regarding Assets

We mentioned above that secretly planning divorce will give you time to get an overview of your marital assets — which is excellent — but it’s crucial you don’t use the opportunity to hide assets or attempt any asset-related shenanigans. This can cause you serious problems as the courts will think you have tried to deceive them and make the financial settlement more favourable for you. And hiding assets may well harm your chances of receiving a fair share in the eventual divorce settlement. 

Are you looking for advice or information to do with planning divorce secretly? Get in touch today and schedule a FREE no-obligation consultation with one of our skilled and experienced family lawyers. 

After four years working at a top-tier, award-winning family law firm in Hertfordshire, Che joined KMJ in January 2018. Prior to this, Che trained and qualified at a high-profile commercial and media firm based in London’s West-End.