Myths about divorce

Truth about divorce

Myth 1 – Men never get custody of the children in a divorce

A recent client believed that the mother would get custody of the children no matter what their situation. When asked why he had come to that conclusion.  He said he assumed the mother gained custody based on what he had seen and heard through TV and conversation with work colleagues. This is not always the case. It depends on the individual circumstance of both the mother and the father but also what is best for the children.

Despite courts saying the welfare of children is paramount. Iit is left to the parents to draw up a parenting plan.  This should include what is going to happen with the children. Bedtimes, schooling, when they visit the parent not living at home any more can be outlined in the plan. Anything and everything can be added to it of course.

The courts take a lot into consideration when children are involved through the divorce proceedings, below are some examples:

Do you know the court only hear cases where parents truly cannot agree and need the court to decide? If you want a parenting plan just email me or download one from here

Myth 2 – A person who commits adultery will settle for less in their financial settlement because they feel guilty!

There are many reasons why adultery happens and often, they will settle for less in a financial settlement.  There is an enormous amount of guilt felt by that person who admits adultery. Especially when the offender wants to enter into a long-term relationship with their new found love. To help the guilt process they often walk away with much less of their entitled marital assets.

More on the divorce process

In the past, the innocent party would often have been financially compensated for the marriage breaking up. However, we now live in a no blame society, so the division of the matrimonial assets is done equally. This means the injured party can become disgruntled with the law. Justice comes in all shapes and sizes and so both parties need help in understanding what is fair in these situations.

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. Divorce and financial settlement, consider talking to the divorce experts to find out your options.

Myth 3 – When divorcing there’s always a winner and a loser with a financial settlement – But is this always the case?

Well, it depends on a person’s viewpoint, what they need to achieve and what they perceive as a winner or a loser in a financial settlement. Likewise, a person generally has an idea of what they consider to be a fair settlement. If they get anything less, they may consider themselves a loser. This is a mindset that needs a shakeup when considering all the facts. A couple who once in love, got married and then divorced. They are both winners and losers but both MUST walk away with a fair settlement. This can only happen by considering all of the finances and how each party will be able to walk away and continue a reasonable standard of living.

Myth 4 – The house was in his name before we got married so I am not entitled to any of it.

This depends if you have been living there for a number of years and you have both treated it as your matrimonial home. You may not own the legal title but the law says you have an equitable title (this is only upon marriage).  Couples who only cohabit would need to resolve this situation under property law. Rather than matrimonial law. There may not be an entitlement but every situation is different.
Divorce and the family home

Myth 5 – I’m not entitled to his pension?

This may be true if it is a short marriage. It may also be true if he has not contributed to his pension during the marriage.  It may be you don’t need it. Every situation is different which is why you need to know the legal facts surrounding the rules on pension sharing on divorce. Many men may try to persuade their wives that they are not entitled, or perhaps that they can have the house and he will keep his pension. Many people agree all sorts of arrangements which may not be acceptable to a Judge under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. It is always best to know the facts before agreeing anything. For this reason, you would be best served by speaking to an expert to ensure that any agreement made can be upheld.

Myth 6 – The mother is left holding the kids…

In 70% of cases, women want the children to remain living with them as their primary residence, merely visiting their father at weekends and occasionally during the week.  They can often resent the freedom that their ex-husband now experiences. It is important to get this situation sorted out right from the start of proceedings so both parties are comfortable and happy with the arrangement moving forward.

With emotions flying high, as is often the case during a separation, some fathers back off during the divorce process. They allow custody of the children to be predominately with the mother.  This may be a primary objective at first for the mother. But perhaps some forward planning at this stage will serve you better in the long run. Especially, if your children are teenagers and are beginning to forge their own social lives. They might only want to see Dad or Mum when it suits them. If you are considering separation or in the throws of planning a divorce, dictating terms to your spouse regarding time spent with the children is inadvisable.  This is where Divorce Negotiator can play an arbitrary role advising you of the most sensible options for both parents and especially the children.

Myth 7 – Women get the lion share

It is often perceived that after the divorce settlement, women get the lions share. However, a recent article from Aviva reports that this is not always the case; with 4 our out of 10 women (42%) said they were worse off financially as a result of their divorce or separation compared to 33% of men. 4 out of 10 men (39%) said they were actually better off, compared to 29% of women.

The settlement for both parties will depend on the joint assets of the couple. It will also set out any responsibilities that they will bear going forwards such as children or house commitments. Therefore, every individual case is different so it is a myth that a woman will always get the lion share in the settlement.

Everyone hears a story that the man always gets less of the financial settlement. However, this is not the case. It depends on the detailed information provided. The settlement is not just based on the value of the house. It also includes other assets such as individual pensions, inheritances etc. All of it must be taken into account in a settlement as well as support for any children.

It is difficult to judge what the real situation is when you only hear one half of the story and usually it is the emotional bits that are most amplified.

Very often most people head straight to a solicitor’s office to protect their own interests. This is when the costs start to rack up and the only losers are the individuals themselves.

Myth 8 – You can get divorced in a matter of weeks if you’ve been separated for 2 years or more

Someone told me that they had heard ‘you can get divorced in a matter of weeks if you’ve been separated for 2 years or more’. I had to ask what their interpretation of ‘weeks’ was.  You could say 24 weeks (which you and I know is 6 months) but that wasn’t what they meant, ‘I actually thought it would all be over in 4 weeks’ was their response, WRONG I’m afraid. The divorce process is the same for every reason for the divorce.

Hope this has helped, keep the questions coming at

Myths about divorce was last modified: November 6th, 2019 by John Fuller

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