So my ex and I have been separated less than 2 years but I want to close that chapter in my life and move on. I want things to remain amicable and have broached the subject of divorce. I know I could petition on behaviour but acknowledge that could get messy in terms of remaining amicable even if I try and pre agree the grounds. I suspect but don't have evidence for adultery and have agreed that if they apply I will admit adultery as I know in the long term it makes no difference to anything, it's just a means to an end. I have offered to pay 50% of the court fee and we will both be lip. I also want to protect myself so if I send 50% upfront, and label as such, could he deny this payment to court and still make me pay £550 if he ticks the box on the application form? If so how could I protect myself from paying twice iykwim?
I will stress that there's no ulterior motive in wanting the divorce other than closing that chapter. Financial side is sorted and child is over 16. I just don't want it hanging around and waiting 2 years with consent or the longer time periods on no fault divorces.
It sounds as though there was no adultery on your part yet you are content to admit to it for an easy divorce. If you don't trust your spouse to issue a petition or admit that monies you have sent were for this purpose, why not issue yourself based on unreasonable behaviour which you can agree with your spouse?
If you issue a petition, you could indicate you intend to claim costs only if the petition is defended. This means that if an acknowledgement of service is completed and returned agreeing to divorce, you won't claim costs.
Being the petitioner means you will be in control of the process. Yes it will cost you £550 but if you admit to adultery you will be the respondent and it is very difficult to argue that you don't pay all of the petitioner's costs on an adultery petition.