Divorce – Dispelling the Myths

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Family Law on Thursday, July 9th, 2015

It’s a sad fact of life that around two thirds of marriages are likely to end in divorce. In this article we examine the commonly-held misconceptions surrounding divorce. We asked Joyti Henchie, partner at solicitors Attwaters Jameson Hill, to help us separate fact from fiction.

Myth- the ‘Quickie’ divorce

You have to have been married for a minimum of 12 months before you can petition for divorce. If you’re divorcing on the grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, you can start proceedings immediately, whereas with desertion or separation you will have to wait at least 2 years. In reality all divorces will take around 4-6 months to complete once the petition has been issued.

Myth – ‘I was the breadwinner, so I deserve more’

This doesn’t mean that you are entitled to a larger share of the assets. The contribution of the home-maker is taken into account, and it’s usually the case that the parent who takes care of the children will receive a greater share of the assets.

Myth -‘I’m a common-law wife so I have marriage rights’
Contrary to popular belief, there no such thing as a common law spouse. Unmarried couples that live together don’t have the same rights as a married couple.

Myth -‘It’s not adultery as we’re separated’

Even if you’ve been separated for years, any physical relationship outside of marriage will be considered as adultery until the decree absolute is granted

Myth – ‘Children always live with their mother’

If both parents have played a part in looking after the children and are able to continue doing so, then this responsibility can be shared.

Myth – ‘It’s amicable – we don’t need solicitors’

This could change. It’s important to consider setting your financial arrangements down in a Consent Order within divorce proceedings. You can then apply to enforce the arrangement if things turn sour. Without a court order, you could face an on-going, costly legal battle over who gets what.

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