Woolley & Co founder and senior partner Andrew Woolley debunks some of the most common myths about divorce.
One of the things that a lot of people think is that you can divorce simply by saying “hey look my marriage has irretrievably broken down” but without getting too technical that is not actually really correct. There are five different reasons that you can choose from, you have to choose from to give, which proves that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.
A lot of people use the word custody, in fact a lot of lawyers still use the word custody it is what we were trained to use and I think everybody understands it actually. But the word was taken away as one that is used in legal terms some years ago and they use words like care and control and really when it comes down to it, it’s best not to worry about that too much, it’s what is in the best interests of the child.
There is no such thing as a quickie divorce, we often read about it don’t we in the press, it tends to be referred to in the cases of celebrities. There are divorces that I suppose are relatively quicker than some but the procedure is exactly the same, everybody has to follow the same procedure and it takes a long time because the Court system is slow.
In the UK law there is no difference in the treatment of men and women. I know that a lot of men feel they are discriminated against but they are not.
A lot of people believe that there is a thing called a common law husband or a common law wife. There isn’t. If you want the same or similar rights to a married couple you either have to have a civil partnership or indeed get married.
A common myth down the pub is that “she’s not entitled to half the house because the house is in my name”. It just doesn’t work like that. If a couple are married then generally speaking it doesn’t matter whose name the house is in, it’s a case of sharing the assets.
We get a lot of contact from people who would like to choose to have an annulment as opposed to a divorce itself. It is a very complicated area of law and it is one where sometimes it’s possible but it is best to have a detailed discussion with a lawyer.