It’s time to knockout those separating myths

With heavy weight boxer Anthony Joshua looking for a knock out against his opponent this weekend, we look at 5 common myths around separating and divorcing that also need to be knocked out of circulation for good!

Round 1: The common law husband/wife.

This is a stubbornly persistent myth where unmarried couples believe they have the same or similar rights as married couples. There are no legal principles to support the notion of a common law spouse. There are very few other legal remedies available to unmarried couples on separation.

Round 2: Only joint assets are taken into account.

Whilst this may be true with unmarried couples, it is not true for married couples. All assets, jointly or solely owned, can be taken into account and divided to meet the parties’ needs and in particular any needs of the children.

Round 3: The divorce cuts all financial ties with your spouse.

The process of dissolving a marriage does not bring to an end your financial obligations to each other. It is possible to make financial claims against a previous spouse years after divorce. The only way to break these ties is through a consent order endorsed by the court.

Round 4: You have to go to court.

In fact, modern family law often never requires anyone to attend court. It is only a handful of cases that end up in the court process. All solicitors are now required to encourage parties to resolve matters cost-effectively and constructively.

Round 5: There is a presumption that the children will stay with their mother.

These days both parents’ roles are vitally important to bringing up children. ‘Shared care’ of the children is much more common and sharing the raising of children is encouraged, rather than the amount of ‘time’ that the children spend with each parent.