Divorce is a commonly discussed subject – and many people will know of couples who have been through a divorce.
So it is surprising how many myths there are surrounding divorce and family law.
Here, Anthony Jones looks at some of the most common myths that he encounters in his work as a divorce lawyer – and explains the reality of most family law cases.
Adultery affects financial settlements
Many people are of the belief that if adultery has been committed by one of the parties, the other party stands to receive a greater share of the assets in a divorce settlement. This is not true and the reason for the breakdown of the marriage is usually not factored into deciding a financial settlement. Who is to blame for the breakdown of a marriage is not the main concern for the courts – their focus is on finding a fair solution that meets the immediate and ongoing needs of both parties.
I’ll have to go to court
Many people will be put off the prospect of a divorce as they think it will involve a long and stressful court battle. In actual fact, the for majority of divorces you do not attend court and financial settlements are reached outside of court via one of the alternative methods of dispute resolution. Our blog explains some of the routes available.
The legal fees to get divorced will cost a fortune
There are costs to submit legal documents, for which a fixed or low estimated fee will apply. From there, it depends on how long a divorce takes, whether negotiations become protracted and how willing the other party is to engage in the process. The longer and more complex a divorce is, the more time a lawyer will need to spend on the case and therefore, the higher the costs. The majority of divorces and financial settlements are relatively straightforward and will usually involve legal costs under £10,000.
Not paying maintenance means you can revoke access
The court sees child maintenance and child custody as two separate issues and co-operation with one doesn’t influence the other in the eyes of the law. As such, even though failure of one party to make maintenance payments may make the relationship difficult, attempting to resolve the matter by denying access or visitation rights could place you on the wrong side of the law. Seeking legal advice on pursuing payment of child maintenance is likely to be a more effective route and will not impact on your own legal obligations.
Getting divorced means there will be no future financial claims from my ex-partner
A couple that has gone through the divorce process but not reached a legally binding financial settlement are still viewed as being financially linked under the law in England and Wales. It may therefore be possible for an ex-spouse to make a financial claim against their ex-partner, if they receive an inheritance, sell a business or property, etc.
Seeking legal advice and obtaining a financial settlement that is agreed and approved by the court is essential if you want to protect yourself from any future financial claim.
Anthony Jones is a Director, Head of Family and is a Resolution Accredited Specialist. For more information, please contact him on 01457 761320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org