Local Legal

Local Legal: Five common misconceptions about divorce

By Jade Price at

Jade Price is a Family Law Paralegal at Price Slater Gawne, the Altrincham-based law firm. In the first of a series of new columns, she dispels some common myths about divorce.

Divorce is one of those things most of us hope that ourselves, our family and our friends, will never have to go through. It is however something that people love to talk about, and is constantly being publicised in the press.

Over the past couple of weeks there has been speculation about Everton footballer Wayne Rooney and his childhood sweetheart Coleen Rooney being caught up in a ‘£70 million divorce’, and singer Louise Redknapp is rumoured to be seeking a divorce from retired footballer Jamie Redknapp.

Whilst we regularly hear about divorce in the press, when I began working in family law I found it most surprising that there are so many misconceptions that people (myself included!) have about divorce, that just simply aren’t true!

I thought it would therefore be useful to dispel some of the most common urban myths surrounding divorce, to give you a better insight should you, a family member, or friend, find yourself needing this advice.

The five most common misconceptions:

1 Everything will be divided equally when we get divorce

It is commonly believed that when a couple divorces, everything is always divided 50/50. This is not always true.

In fact, the divorce itself will not see the assets divided at all, this is dealt with by a separate process whereby the assets will be divided in a way that the court thinks is fair.

It is vital therefore that anybody considering a divorce or that has already divorced without a financial order should contact a solicitor to see what they are entitled to.

2 You can immediately divorce your spouse without having a reason

To be able to divorce in the UK you must show that your marriage has irretrievably broken down, for one of the following reasons:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Two years’ separation with your spouse’s consent
  • Five years’ separation (but no consent is required).

3 Mothers will always gain custody of the children following a divorce

Generally if the mother and father are married to each other, or the father is on the child’s birth certificate, both parents have the same parental rights in respect of their children.

4 Divorces are quick

The average non-contested divorce takes around five to six months, regardless of the facts of the case, although reaching a financial settlement may take more or less time than this.

5 Divorces cost a fortune

Price Slater Gawne offer divorces at a competitive price. Our family department has over 26 years’ experience in family law, working with clients from all backgrounds and from all over England and Wales.

If you would like to discuss your divorce or separation, civil partnership dissolution or arrangements for your children, please feel free to call me on 0161 615 5554 for a free no-obligation chat.