Are you worried you will lose 50% of your assets if you and your partner divorce? You aren’t alone!
Divorce is a sensitive and complex topic that affects many families in the UK. Unfortunately, it is often surrounded by various myths and misconceptions.
However, at Prentice Family Law, we have heard all manner of myths about divorce and our divorce solicitors in Weybridge are here to help you navigate that path with more ease and clarity. So, if you are stuck on what to do, call our team.
In this article, our divorce solicitors in Weybridge explore some of the most prevalent myths about divorce in the UK and debunk them with factual information. Enjoy!
Divorce is only granted based on fault
One of the most common misconceptions that our divorce solicitors in Weybridge hear is that in the UK, divorce is only granted if one spouse is at fault. This myth stems from the historical practice of fault-based divorce, where a spouse had to prove adultery, unreasonable behaviour, or desertion to secure a divorce. However, UK law has evolved, and since the Family Law Act of 1996, it is possible to obtain a “no-fault” divorce after a period of separation. Couples can apply for divorce after two years of separation if both parties consent or after five years of separation without the need for mutual consent.
Women always get custody of the children
In the past, it was more common for mothers to be awarded primary custody of their children in a divorce. However, the UK family court system now emphasises the best interests of the children rather than any gender bias. Both parents are given equal consideration in custody cases, and the court strives to ensure that children maintain a happy and healthy relationship with both of you, even after divorce.
Pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding
Some couples believe that pre-nuptial agreements are not worth the effort because they are not legally binding; this is not entirely true. While pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically binding, they are given significant weight by the courts in the UK, especially when both parties entered into the agreement. A well-drafted and fair pre-nuptial agreement can be instrumental in protecting individual assets in case of divorce.
Assets are always divided 50/50
Another common myth is that all assets are automatically divided equally between divorcing spouses. In reality, the division of assets is based on a principle of fairness and can vary depending on individual circumstances. The divorce court considers factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial contributions and earning capacity, and the needs of any dependent children. While an equal split is sometimes appropriate, it is not always the case.
Living together for a certain time creates a common-law marriage
Many people believe that living together for a specific period, such as seven years, creates a common-law marriage with similar legal rights to a legally married couple. In the UK, however, there is no such thing as a common-law marriage. Regardless of how long a couple has cohabited, they do not have the same legal rights and protections as married couples. Unmarried cohabiting couples should consider legal agreements, such as cohabitation agreements, to protect their rights and assets.