For anyone getting divorced, there is a wealth of received wisdom out there. Unfortunately much of it is wrong. This can make it hard for those facing the end of their relationship to get accurate information on which to base their decisions. Alison Dukes from AMD Solicitors considers some of the most common myths about divorce.
Falling out of love is sufficient grounds for divorce
Even if you and/or your partner have decided you no longer love each other, this alone is not enough to apply for a divorce. In order to move forward with the process, you must be able to demonstrate at least one of the following:
- Your partner has committed adultery (although this becomes invalid if you continue to live with them for six months or more after you found out).
- Unreasonable behaviour from your partner (as well as physical or verbal abuse this can include drunkenness, lack of affection or involvement in family life, or a refusal to contribute financially to the household despite having the means to do so).
- Desertion (meaning your spouse has left you without your agreement, without good reason, with the intention of ending your relationship or if they have been absent for two years out of the last two and half).
- If you’ve lived apart for two or more years and you both agree to the divorce.
- If you’ve lived apart for five or more years, whether your former partner agrees to the divorce or not.
Half of all marriages end in divorce
This “fact” is so widely and frequently repeated that few of us would probably ever think to check it. In reality, only 42% of marriages end in divorce, according to Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures from 2012, with two thirds of all marriages lasting more than 20 years. The average marriage lasts 32 years (including those that end due to the death of one spouse).
Courts frequently deny fathers contact with their children
In 99.7% of custody cases that come before the courts, judges rule that both parents should be able to spend time with their children. However, the overwhelming majority of childcare arrangements are decided outside of court through private negotiation between both parents, often aided by processes such as family mediation and family collaborative law.
If you are thinking about initiating divorce proceedings, or have received a divorce petition filed by your former partner, our divorce solicitors in Bristol can offer expert advice to help you navigate every step of the process. Call us today on 0117 962 1205 and ask for one of our specialists in family law or else feel free to get in touch with Alison Dukes by email.