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Divorce and Separation - Top 5 Myths Debunked

1.The assets are just split 50/50 on divorce aren’t they? 

The short answer is no. Every case is different and there is a lengthy check list which looks at the resources available, age of the parties, length of the marriage, source of the assets, earning capacity, contributions, standard of living and importantly  the parties’ needs. The aim is to achieve “fairness” which can be very  different from an equal division.

2. I was the bread winner and all the assets are in my name so they are mine. 

Upon marriage all of the assets that are within the relationship go into the “matrimonial pot”. Whilst the source of the assets can be a factor in sharing them, that is not the defining issue.

 3.The wife always gets the house. 

Untrue. A Judge will take a balanced and careful view about the sharing of assets to achieve fairness in order to provide for both parties’ reasonable needs for the future. The most obvious need will be rehousing.

4.Mothers always get custody and the father gets access. 

These terms went out in the early 1990s. There is no presumption about where the children will live and parents are encouraged to agree the best arrangements for sharing the care of their children.

5.Co-habitees become common law husband and wife after living together for two years and it becomes the same as if they are married. 

This is utter nonsense as cohabitees can live together for many years without acquiring the right to make any financial claims against each other.

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Emma Lawler

Partner, Family Law

01522 508812

07703 729861

Mark Day

Partner, Family Law

01904 683116

07901 711163