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 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.

———————–

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.

———————–

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.

———————–

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.

———————-

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.

———————–

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.

Got a question? Ask us now…

Kindly complete the form below to send an enquiry. Your message will be sent to one of our solicitors. Discretion is guaranteed.

Your Information

  • Consider including information such as: the name of your spouse (if relevant), the country you live in, the background to your problem.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Over 2000 FREE
consultations and counting…

Our free consultation can help you more clearly understand the legal issues relating your case and what your options are to move forward.

Request your free consultation

Or send us an enquiry

I had applied for a free consultation and I was contacted in a very short timeframe. Thank you so much for the insightful and thorough consultation, Kevin Danagher. You made me feel at ease and you provided clear expectations with the initial info I had provided... I have now a much better understanding on my query.

Feb 2024   Sonia Accardi

We had a very useful first consultation with Amber Matheson today. Amber took the time to understand our (somewhat complicated) set-up, and offered good, understandable advice on next steps. She followed up with a very thorough email clarifying what we had discussed. Highly recommended.

Feb 2024   Lucie

Lovely friendly experience. All questions were answered so that I understood completely.

Dec 2023   Ali Catlin

Very balanced, fair and pragmatic advice. Thoroughly recommend!!

Nov 2023   James Elliott

Henry graciously provided his time for a consultation. I found him to be highly knowledgeable, empathetic and he provided excellent advice which put my mind at ease. Would highly recommend Henry and his firm.

Oct 2023   Allan Ang

Henry Brookman went above and beyond during the free consultation, and even overran the allocated time. He provided invaluable professional advice in a courteous manner. I recommend his firm without reservation.

Sep 2023   Mario Ignatov

I only had my initial free review with Amelia yet I already feel much more strengthened in my legal and financial position. I am currently reflecting on the steps I want to take to negotiate my desired outcome of the financial settlement but, when I am ready to use the services of a lawyer, Amelia is definitely the top on my list.

Sep 2023   Nahid Toubia

I had a zoom consultation with Lauren Moir and she was incredible. Very patient, insightful and reassuring. She also advised me based on my previous conversations with another firm and also clarified various positions I am in. Highly recommend.

Aug 2023   Gary Hawes

I was very impressed with the friendly, helpful and professional service offered by Brookman Solicitors. The generous advice and knowledge offered during the initial free consultation has enabled us to have a much better understanding of our case and plan a way forward.

Jul 2023   Peter Jackson

I had a first consultation with Kevin, who very diligently and professionally provided an exhaustive overview of the divorce process and the best approach for my specific case.

Jul 2023   Giulia Matteo

Great service and excellent advice at the initial consultation. I would certainly recommend and use in the future.

Jul 2023   Tom James

Spoke to a kind solicitor this morning who took an hour of her time to talk me through some advice relating to a difficult separation.... She was clear and helpful with her advice, leaving me feeling much more confident with the process ahead of me.

Jun 2023   Luke Taylor

Mr Brookman provided very clear advice that left me with no doubt about the options and next steps. Getting specific advice with the requirements in the different jurisdictions was particularly useful so I won’t need to consult another lawyer outside of the UK

May 2023   Julian Anthony

From initial contact I found all staff extremely helpful and professional. My options were made clear, my query was dealt with in a sympathetic way. Would highly recommend Brookman Solicitors.

Mar 2023   seamus mcguinness

The initial consultation I have just completed with Henry Brookman was very informative; he was very open and honest about my situation, the legalities of the matter and the extent of how his firm could help.

Nov 2022   Kimberley Noakes

Google Reviews
Ask A Question

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact us now, we can help you.

Enquire Now

Or call us on +44 (0)20 7430 8470