Harlow: 01279 799598 contact@spectrumfamilylaw.com


You can get divorced whenever you like

No this is not true, you must have been married for at least twelve months before you can lodge a petition for divorce.

I want a legal separation

Apart from applying for a decree of Judicial Separation which follows the same procedure as a divorce, there is no such thing as a legal separation. You can formalise the things you have agreed to do while living separately before a divorce by entering into a separation agreement.

A divorce can go through on irreconcilable differences

Although true in the USA it is not the case in the UK. The only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. You have to prove the marriage has irretrievably broken down but you have to choose from only five facts.

Adultery cannot take place after separation

Not true. Even if you have been separated for years and have sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex it is still adultery.

The facts relied upon in support of the divorce can have an impact on the finances

This is not so. The facts of the divorce rarely have any impact on the financial outcome of the case. To be of relevance the conduct must be gross and obvious.

If I cohabit with someone for 6 months or more we become common law husband and wife

Absolutely not! There is no such thing as common law husband and wife in the UK. Unmarried couples living together have no automatic rights.

Children always live with the mother

This is not always true although the mother tends to be the primary carer. Each case is determined on its merits as to what is in the best interests of the children and not the needs of the parents.

Prenuptial agreements are not recognised in the UK

Although such agreements are not binding under English law following the decision in the Supreme Court in the case of Radmacher and Granatino they now carry a great deal of weight especially in short marriages and if they are made following an appropriate process allowing time for reflection and advice.

Maintenance orders are final

This is a common misconception but such orders can be varied on application by either the payer or the recipient if either can show a change in circumstances from those prevailing at the time the original order was made.

If you separate for 2 years you can get a quickie divorce

There is no such thing as a quickie divorce despite the media often using the word, there are five facts which can be used to support a petition for divorce and each fact requires exactly the same process to be followed and the same time scale. On average an undefended divorce will take between 4 – 6 months.

If the respondent fails to sign the divorce papers the divorce cannot go through

Not so, depending on the facts relied upon and provided the petitioner can prove the respondent has been served and knows about the proceedings, it can proceed without input from the respondent.

If a parent has no contact with their children they do not have to pay maintenance

Not correct. There is no relationship between contact and maintenance law.

If I leave the matrimonial home I will lose my rights

Not so, providing you are in a civil partnership or marriage and even if the house is not in your name. The court has the power to adjust rights in property and your interest and be protected by registering your rights at the land Registry.

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