You may be worried about some of the rumours that go around about getting divorced – especially if you find yourself in that position.
We have written this blog post to counter some of the divorce myths you may have heard.
1.You must state who is to blame when applying for a divorce
No Fault Law came into play in April 2022 and it simply means that now, there is no need to blame either party and no evidence is needed.
The only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship.
Either of the separating couple can ask for a divorce on this basis and couples can also apply to the court together.
Under the new law, neither party can stop the other from seeking a divorce.
2. Once you are divorced, you have no financial liability for your
Divorce does not end financial obligations between spouses.
If you are considering a divorce you have to have in place a legally binding financial arrangement, which is agreed by negotiation or dealt with by the court.
In both cases, the court will make an order setting out financial terms.
Without this, your spouse can claim against you long into the future.
3.Assets are always shared equally
In the majority of cases, the courts will start at 50:50 when splitting matrimonial assets but a number of factors could sway this figure.
These include needs of children, how able each part is to earn money, contributions made by each member including earning money and raising children, which could have resulted in one giving up a career or working part-time.
Ages of each party, length of the marriage and any benefits received also come into play.
4. Mums always get custody of children
While the courts always put the best interests of a child first, they would always prefer parents to come to their own arrangements where possible.
The term ‘custody’ is no longer used and it is generally hoped that children will have a meaningful relationship with both parents.
If the court is involved it will consider these factors:
* The child’s wishes and feelings, taking into account their age and understanding
* The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
* The child’s age, sex and any other relevant characteristics
* Each parent’s capability to care for the child
* What effects change may have on the child
* Any risk of harm
Where one parent has formerly carried out the majority of the day to day care of the child, the court will often find that it is appropriate for this to continue and that the child live with that parent.
5. The person with custody of the children makes all of the decisions
Where both parents have parental responsibility, they are both entitled to make decisions about their children’s lives.
Decisions about which school a child will attend, what religion they will follow and medical treatment they should be made jointly.
6.Women always get the family home
If there are children involved, then the court may well find a solution that allows their main caregiver to stay in the family home.
Depending on the financial situation of a family, the other spouse could receive a larger share of other assets, such as pension provision, if the family home becomes the property of the parent staying there.
There are also other ways of dealing with the family home, such as delaying a sale until the children are grown and then splitting the sale proceeds.
7. You need to attend court to get a divorce
You do not have to go to court to obtain a divorce.
While the application for a divorce needs to be made to the court, the process can be dealt with by post.
With regard to other issues such as the division of property and other assets and arrangements for children, if you are able to reach an agreement with your spouse, then this can also be dealt with without the need for you to attend court.
Need more help? Heard another divorce myth?
Do you need to speak to one of your expert family lawyers? Call us on 01772 799 600.
Article by Kim Emmett