Misconception 1:

You need to prove fault on behalf of one of the parties in order to divorce.

Contrary to popular belief you no longer need to prove fault in order to divorce. While previously one of the five recognised grounds, including adultery, unreasonable behavior, desertion, separation for two years with consent and separation for five years without consent, we’re needed to be proved before a divorce could be granted, this is no longer the case. The law now does not require a ground to be proven in what is known as “no fault” divorce.

Misconception 2:

The person at fault will be financially penalised.

Another common misconception is that the person at fault for the breakdown of the marriage will be financially penalised during divorce proceedings. In reality, the courts in England and Wales follow a principle of “no-fault” divorce, meaning that the reasons behind the breakdown of the marriage are not considered when determining financial settlements. The focus is on achieving a fair outcome based on the couple’s financial circumstances, needs, and contributions to the marriage based on the couple’s financial circumstances, including needs, and contributions to the marriage.

Misconception 3:

Mothers always get custody of the children.

There is a widespread belief that mothers automatically receive custody of the children in divorce cases. However, this is not the case in England and Wales. The courts prioritise the best interests of the children, taking into account factors such as their welfare, relationship with each parent and their wishes and feelings (depending on their age and maturity). The gender of the parent is not a determining factor in custody decisions, and both parents have equal rights and responsibilities towards their children.

Misconception 4:

Divorce always involves a lengthy court battle.

While divorce cases can sometimes end up in court, it is not always the case. In fact, the majority of divorces in England and Wales are resolved through negotiation, mediation or collaborative law, which aim to reach an agreement outside of court. These alternative dispute resolution methods can save time, money and emotional stress, allowing couples to have more control over the outcome of their divorce.

Misconception 5:

Pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding.

Many people believe that pre-nuptial agreements hold no legal weight in England and Wales. However, this is not entirely true. Although pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically enforceable, they are increasingly being recognised by the courts as a relevant factor when considering financial settlements. If the agreement is fair and meets certain criteria, such as being entered into freely and with full understanding, it can carry significant weight in divorce proceedings.

Divorce law in England and Wales is often misunderstood, leading to misconceptions that can create unnecessary anxiety and confusion. By debunking these common misconceptions, we hope to provide a clearer understanding of the divorce process, emphasising the importance of seeking professional advice and guidance to navigate this challenging period. Remember, divorce law is designed to ensure fairness and protect the rights of all parties involved, ultimately aiming to facilitate a smooth transition into a new chapter of life.

Contact our Family Team at Vyman

Zharna Sutaria is the Head of the Family department, if you have any questions about divorce, finance or pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements, why not her a call at Vyman Solicitors on 020 3927 7779 or email zharna.sutaria@vyman.co.uk

The content of this article has been prepared for informational purposes only. This content does not constitute legal advice, nor does it give rise to a solicitor/client relationship. Specialist legal advice should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.