Urban Myths – Divorce

Urban Myths – Divorce

With high profile divorce regularly discussed in the press, it may have you raising some questions about how you can get a divorce and what would happen to yours or your spouse’s assets if you were to divorce. Here we address some common misconceptions regarding divorces in the UK. This is a series of posts, so make sure you come back and stay up to date.

Common misconception #1 – Everything will be divided equally when we get divorced

Many people believe that everything is always divided equally if they get divorced.

In fact, the actual divorce proceedings themselves are only a process to obtain a certificate of divorce (called a Decree Absolute). Financial division does not happen automatically and will need one party to apply to court before the court will intervene.

Whilst the starting point for division is 50-50, there are a number of factors that the court take into account that can alter this division, for example :

  • The respective ages of both parties
  • The incomes of both parties
  • The arrangements for the children
  • Whether any party has a disability ( including the children)
  • The needs or financial obligations of either party
  • The conduct or misconduct of either party
  • The standard of living of the parties

This is a non exhaustive list and a different weighting can be put on each factor, but how the issues are interpreted can make a significant difference as to how the financial assets are split.

Nicholas Clough and Sally Leaman of Price Slater Gawne are experienced Family and Divorce solicitors who can advise you in relation to any questions or concerns you may have in relation to the breakdown of your relationship.

If you would like to contact Nicholas or Sally please call 0161 615 5554 for a free no-obligation chat.

Common misconception #2 – You can immediately divorce your spouse without having a reason

In the UK you must show that your marriage has irretrievably broken down for one of the following reasons:

  • Adultery;
  • Unreasonable behaviour;
  • Desertion;
  • Two years separation with consent;
  • Five years separation (no consent required).

Our family department has extensive experience in family law, working with clients from all backgrounds and from all over England and Wales.
If you would like to discuss your divorce, separation or civil partnership dissolution, please feel free to call the team on 0161 615 5554 for a free no-obligation chat.

Common misconception #3 – Mothers will always gain custody of the children following a divorce

Generally if the mother and father are married to each other, or the father is on the child’s birth certificate, both parents have the same parental rights in respect of their children.

Our family department has extensive experience in family law, working with clients from all backgrounds and from all over England and Wales.

If you would like to discuss your divorce, separation or civil partnership dissolution, please feel free to call the team on 0161 615 5554 for a free no-obligation chat.

Common misconception #4 – Divorces are quick

The average non-contested divorce takes around 5-6 months, regardless of the facts of the case, although reaching a financial settlement may take more or less time than this.

Our family department has extensive experience in family law, working with clients from all backgrounds and from all over England and Wales.

If you would like to discuss your divorce, separation or civil partnership dissolution, please feel free to call the team on 0161 615 5554 for a free no-obligation chat.

Common misconception #5 – Divorces cost a fortune

Price Slater Gawne offer divorces at a competitive price. Our family department has extensive experience in family law, working with clients from all backgrounds and from all over England and Wales.

If you would like to discuss your divorce, separation or civil partnership dissolution, please feel free to call the team on 0161 615 5554 for a free no-obligation chat.

Common misconception #6 - Common Law spouse

We read about the existence of the so called ‘common law wife / husband’ in the press regularly.

Is there such a thing? The simple answer is No, there is no such thing as a common law spouse.

You are either married or you aren’t. – And the law is very different upon separation depending upon whether you are married or not.

If you are married, then when you separate, for a court to either deal with your finances or ratify an agreement between you upon separation, then you will need to divorce. However, the court has far greater scope to deal with the division of assets if you are married, under the Matrimonial Causes Act, than if you aren’t. For example the court will take into account your respective salaries and future earning capacity, any health issues or disability, whether there are children, property, pensions, savings and investments, irrespective of whose name such assets are held in.

By comparison, when parties who are not married separate, even if that separation is after ten or twenty years and there are children, the court has limited scope for involvement. It has no jurisdiction in relation to pensions, or investments unless held jointly or indeed maintenance. The court can deal with property, but unless that property is held in joint names, it is by no means certain that the party whose name is not on the ‘title deeds’ will recover any share of the value of the former home.

Nicholas Clough and Sally Leaman of Price Slater Gawne are experienced Family and Divorce solicitors who can advise you in relation to any questions or concerns you may have in relation to the breakdown of your relationship.

If you would like to contact Nicholas or Sally please call 0161 615 5554 for a free no-obligation chat.