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Through a combination of mis-reporting and legal complexity, it is common for myths regarding divorce to be confused for common fact.  Here are five of those common myths together with the actual facts.

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Myth: If a spouse has behaved badly or has had an affair, this will have an effect on how the family finances will be divided.

Fact: Only in rare and extreme cases will a spouse’s marital behaviour affect the division of assets.  In most cases it has no bearing on the court’s decisions.

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Myth: Prior to filing for divorce, the spouse should ‘dig out’ and copy as much evidence as they can regarding their spouse’s finances.

Fact: Gathering as many facts about a couple’s finances is critical to a successful outcome in financial negotiations.  However, the manner in which the evidence is gathered is critical.  The court will not look favourably on evidence that is considered to be ‘stolen’.  For instance, if a spouse secretly accesses their partner’s computer to download documents, the court may not admit the documents into evidence as the spouse had no implied right to access them.  The correct manner in which evidence is gathered is certainly open to interpretation and a solicitor should be consulted to ensure it is done in an appropriate way.

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Myth: Long-term cohabiting couples have the same rights as married couples when they separate.

Fact: Legally speaking, a cohabiting couple are treated very differently from a couple who are either married or in a civil partnership.  Unlike married couples, partners in a cohabiting couple cannot bring claims against each other for assets such as property or maintenance payments.

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Myth: Pre-nuptial agreements in England and Wales are not worth the paper they are written on.

Fact: Historically, pre-nups in England and Wales may have been persuasive in helping the court make a final decision regarding a financial settlement.  Nevertheless, the court could also disregard the pre-nup if it considered the agreement to be unfair.  This has led to the common view that pre-nups in England and Wales are rarely binding.  However, a high profile case in 2010 (Radmacher v Granatino) which ultimately went to the Supreme Court, may now mean pre-nups have more weight.  The Supreme Court highlighted that if the pre-nup was entered into under certain circumstances, it could indeed be considered fair.  These circumstances included both parties entering into the agreement freely and that both parties also understood that the agreement was legally binding.  That said, pre-nups are no more legally binding than they were prior to the Radmacher case, but they do have the potential to be more influential under the right circumstances.

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Myth:  It is possible to get a ‘quickie divorce’ and be divorced in a few weeks.

Fact:  No matter what the media may report about ‘quickie divorces’ in England and Wales, for most people they do not exist. Typically the divorce process will take several months, with a required six week gap between the Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute before the divorce is formalised.  Outside of the UK, there are some countries which allow speedier divorces, but the couple would need to have ties with one of those jurisdictions in order to get divorced abroad.

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Myth: You have to ask your spouse to agree to divorce.

Fact: Most divorces are granted on the basis of unreasonable behaviour or adultery by the other and their consent is not needed.

Starting 2012 With The Facts: Exploding 6 Common Divorce Myths

Date: January 17th, 2012 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

Through a combination of mis-reporting and legal complexity, it is common for myths regarding divorce to be confused for common fact.  Here are five of those common myths together with the actual facts. ———————– Myth: If a spouse has behaved badly or has had an affair, this will have an effect on how the family… Read the full article

How Are Offshore Trusts Treated In Divorce Settlements?

Date: December 16th, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

Henry Brookman provides the answer to a Financial Times’ ‘Wealth Question’ regarding how a offshore trust may be treated as part of a divorce settlement. Financial Times Wealth Question: “I live in the UK most of the year but I have a property in the Caribbean and the bulk of my finances are tied up… Read the full article

Dawn French: Does Divorce Affect Health And Fitness?

Date: November 11th, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

In 2010 the American Journal of Epidemiology published the findings of eight years of research focused on 9,000 men and women with an average age of 45.  One of the findings showed that men were more likely to become fitter and healthier after a divorce whilst women were more likely to put on weight. The… Read the full article

The Implications Of Whirlwind Marriages On Financial Matters

Date: September 29th, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

People get married every single day and in a whole range of circumstances.  Some spend years together and then tie the knot, others enter into a whirlwind romance that quickly takes the next step to marriage.  Whatever the lead up to marriage is, there is an argument that the less well the couple know each… Read the full article

What Rights Do Cohabiting Couples Have?

Date: September 23rd, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

Henry Brookman discusses the differences between married couples, civil partnerships and cohabitees. Published in The Times. The government’s Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly, recently announced that the Law Commission review of cohabitees’ rights had been scrapped. Whilst the topic of cohabitees’ rights seems to be regularly considered by Parliament, the issue is never actually tackled.  This… Read the full article

Courts Prevent Mother From Taking Children Back To Home Country

Date: September 19th, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

A recent Court of Appeal ruling prevented a Canadian mother from taking her children back to her home country.  Henry Brookman discusses the case and its possible impact on future cases of this type.  Published in Telegraph Online. It might seem that a parent choosing to take their children to another country after divorce is… Read the full article

The Impact Of Holidays On Divorce

Date: September 7th, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

We have now come to the end of the summer holiday period in the UK and for some couples, this time may well have been testing on their relationship. For many, a holiday with the family is a fun a relaxing time. A chance to leave the stresses of work behind and focus on what… Read the full article

Understanding Pre-Partnership Agreements

Date: August 12th, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

Henry Brookman explains pre-partnership agreements for civil partners. Published in My Gay Money. The number of civil partnerships entered into in the UK has increased over recent years. Unfortunately however, this increase has been matched by the number of civil partnership dissolutions.  Recent reports suggest that dissolutions rose by 44% in 2010. This trend underlines… Read the full article

Why You Must Be Careful When Collecting Evidence For Your Divorce.

Date: July 4th, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

Henry Brookman highlights the pitfalls associated with gathering evidence prior to divorce. Published online in Here Is The City. Divorce is an emotionally charged and often very sad time for both sides. In part, it is the divorce solicitor’s job to guide their client through the divorce process with a calm and astute head so… Read the full article

Is love blind? What happens if one party fails to accept it’s over?

Date: May 6th, 2011 - Written by: Brookman Solicitors

Many a client who comes into the office to discuss their break up and imminent divorce understandably finds it difficult to accept the relationship is really over, even when the other party has given every indication that they do not wish to continue with the marriage.  If every attempt to reconcile has been unsuccessful, both… Read the full article


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Brookman Solicitors

66 Reviews

Jen Ade 23/07/2020

I had an initial consultation and Henry was well prepared. He gave great advice and followed through quite quickly. He was very helpful.

Chris Mullins 15/07/2020

Henry and team were most professional, considerate and efficient when handling the financial proceedings owing to my overseas divorce. I recommend their services highly. International circumstance was at first to me most daunting and confusing, given each country had its' own unique approach. Thankfully Henry was knowledgeable of the law on either side of the seas and able therefore to provide best guidance and reasoning to me which enabled favourable settlement!

Wim Jansen 24/06/2020

I contacted Brookman to ask for information regarding the validity of an international divorce court ruling. They were very quick in providing me with the right information. When I had another question a few months later around children matters I phoned them again and after taking some background information and contact details they booked me in for a free telephone consultation with 1 of their partners Talitha Brookman. She spent half an hour of her time explaining to me what I could expect and provided legal advice. All was free of charge. I would not hesitate to contact them again should any matter become more formal and have to go through court. The service has been quick, professional and very friendly.

Rebecca Brown 01/06/2020

Highly recommend this firm. Having searched around different firms for advice for some time, I had a free consultation with Henry Brookman. He was incredibly knowledgeable about my complex situation, gave straightforward advice and empowered me to understand exactly how I need to proceed.

Nik Carter 10/05/2020

I recently had a free initial consultation with Henry Brookman via video conference. He was considered and meticulous in his approach and gave me well thought through advice. He followed this up with a letter in writing summarising the advice he gave me. I would thoroughly recommend his services to anyone looking for legal representation in a divorce.