P.S. I left you

As mentioned in a previous post you can file for divorce 12 months after separation.

For many people the date of separation could be unclear. Because one person’s separation could be another person’s lets-give-each-other-space period.

I still recall my reaction sitting in a late evening family law lecture in the back seat of the class when I heard the lecturer tell the story of a couple who had been living in the same house but in separate rooms, running completely separate lives for over 5 years. When the husband applied for a divorce, the wife was shocked and told the court that even though they were separated and lived in separate rooms, neither of them ever told the other that the marriage was over. The wife felt that as a couple they had drifted apart with time while in the husband’s mind, the marriage was well and truly over. At the time I recall thinking that the wife should have realised that the marriage was over. However, with years of experience now, I know that sometimes it is far from simple and that while a person would have moved on from a relationship mentally and psychologically well before they move on physically, it is often the case that the other party would have no idea.

So, to avoid confusion and expensive legal battles and also more importantly because it is a basic courtesy to an ex, when a firm decision is reached to end a marriage or relationship, this should be confirmed in writing to them via email.

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