We have written several articles discussing common myths surrounding family law. As family law can be exceptionally complex – this can make several aspects of family law concerning – especially if you are facing a divorce or other issue relating to family law. We understand that having an issue with family law can be an extremely distressing and difficult time for you and your family – so these myths don’t help when we are suddenly having to face a difficult situation.
If you require any further information or if you are looking for support relating to family law in Cardiff – then get in touch with our expert team of solicitors. We are more than happy to advise and support you during this difficult time and we can advise you with specific relevant information that is up-to-date and will help you during your case.
Read on to find out which myths we have chosen to debunk in this article. If there are any myths that you have heard that you want to discuss with us or myths that you have heard that are false – let us know today.
1. Reasons for a Divorce Decide on Settlement Amounts
One of the most prevalent myths that surround divorce is that the grounds of divorce affect the amount that each side receives. Some may think that grounds such as adultery may change the amount that is received however the Court has no interest in punishing either party during the divorce process. The Court will always act in the best interests of all parties and reach a fair solution that meets people’s needs. On considerations regarding children – again the Court will rule with their best interests at heart.
2. Marriages Can Automatically End After Certain Periods
Another myth is that marriages automatically end after a certain period of time and therefore – after this period of time has elapsed you are able to remarry. You will always need to go through the legal process of divorce or separation. You are able to get a legal separation if you don’t want a divorce if you do not agree with divorce for cultural or religious regions for example. You are unable to get divorced if you have been married for less than a year and you will need to meet the various grounds for divorce should you wish to pursue a legal divorce.
3. Getting a ‘Pre-Nup’ Isn’t Worth It Because They Aren’t Strictly Binding
Although it is true that a prenuptial agreement is a formal contract, the Court will use one as a compelling factor to consider during the divorce process. It’s highly important that a pre-nuptial agreement is prepared properly – with expert support if they are going to be given full weight in court. They can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run when drawn up correctly so this needs to be carried out professionally to have the best chance of the document being legally binding. Although they may be a point of contention and difficulty at the start of a marriage, they give security should something go wrong in the future and ensures that assets are clearly defined and allocated to each party.
4. Mediation Won’t Help As We Are Separating
In some cases – mediation will not be appropriate if conversations or relations have broken down or if it is unsafe for either party to meet with the other. However, mediation can be a vital tool in reaching agreements in terms of a separation or divorce as well as agreements regarding finances and regarding children. A legally binding agreement can be created and submitted to court and this can be a way to avoid legal fees and other costs associated with lengthy court battles. Mediation is definitely a tool that you should consider using should it be appropriate to do so.
5. Your Spouse is Not Physically Present Or Is Abroad So I Can’t Get Divorced
If a spouse leaves the country, moves assets to a different country or just isn’t cooperating in terms of communication then it’s important to submit as much information to the Court as possible at the start of the divorce or separation proceedings. Evidence for example should be provided such as your Process Server certificate to prove that the other party knows about the divorce and has been properly served with the divorce papers or documentation. This should allow the court to proceed if you have all of the relevant information. A Dispensed Service may be used but is rare and is a final resort in getting a divorce finalised. We can advise you on this, particularly difficult challenge.
6. I Have Been in a Common Law Marriage for Years So I Can Get a Divorce
Cohabitation agreements are a form of legal agreement in which a couple who live together can agree to the division of assets and other aspects such as working out child support. Common law marriages are not legally binding so it’s highly important that if you are not married – you create some form of cohabitation agreement that is legally binding to protect you in the event of a separation. A partner that does not have this type of agreement will be entitled to very little financially after separation so it’s imperative that an agreement is arranged for longer-term relationships. Common law marriages also are not recognised as legally binding by the Courts so you need to arrange for a cohabitation agreement. Child maintenance will be paid without marriage but very little additional support is offered if an agreement is not legally in place.
7. I Have Parental Responsibility For My Child As I Am The Father or Step-Parent
Parental Responsibility is a legal term which indicates who has the right to make decisions about children. Unmarried fathers or step-parents often do not have parental responsibility automatically. All birth mothers, fathers married to the mother at the time the child was born, all partners and civil partners registered as legal parents on a birth certificate and fathers who are not married but on the birth certificate on or after 1st December 2003 also automatically receive responsibility. Other carers can also make an application for parental responsibility so this can be a difficult subject if you currently do not hold parental responsibility. It’s highly recommended to contact a family law solicitor if this is the case.
So that is another 7 family law myths debunked. We understand that this can be a very difficult time for you and your family and we hope that this article answered any questions that you may have regarding family law. If there are any myths that you have heard that you want to discuss with us or myths that you have heard that are false – let us know today.
Hurlows Family Law Practice is a valued and respected Firm of Solicitors which has been serving the Cardiff and South Wales area since 2001.