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
Not true, the only ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
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 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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