To divorce in England and Wales immediately following separation requires one to prove that their spouse has committed adultery or alternatively behaved unreasonably. If allegations are made which are not accepted, then as the spouse who receives the petition you can file an answer defending it. Protocol requires solicitors to discourage clients from embarking on contested divorce suits where appropriate and unless the allegations made in the petition are a complete fiction, it is wise to be wary.
Once upon a time I recall a client coming to me with a divorce petition that had just been served on him. In it his wife had alleged that in January he had promised to undertake long-needed repairs to their home as soon as possible but when he failed to do so the marriage broke down and they separated.
“It’s totally ridiculous,” my client explained. “I have to defend, there’s no truth in it.”
“Did you make a promise?” I asked
“Yes but to do the work ASAP.”
“Isn’t that what the petition says?” I enquired.
“No it says as soon as possible; I meant after September, August possibly!”