10 Common Myths About Separation And Divorce

10 Common Myths About Separation And Divorce

Given that a divorce is something that most people will never experience, or if they do, it will be once, it is understandable that knowledge of family law relating to separation and divorce will be extremely limited. This is why the most sensible action for anyone going through a divorce is to seek the services of an experienced family lawyer.

It is also a reason why there are so many myths in circulation concerning divorce. To be fair, it may not just be due to ignorance of divorce law, as often divorce cases are depicted on TV and in movies as having more legal wrangling than most ever are in reality. So, to clear up some of the confusion, here are 10 myths relating to divorce and separation.

Assets Are Always Divided 50/50: The division of assets within a property settlement must be fair but that does mean that everything is given a value, and each party receives half. It should be based on fairness and future needs, including the care of any children.

Divorces Are Always Settled In Court: Whilst a court will grant the final divorce via consent orders, if the couple has agreed to all financial matters and those relating to their children, then the case is not heard in a courtroom.

Someone Is To Blame: Movies might depict divorces this way, but in Australian family law all divorces are based on the irretrievable breakdown, not the blame game.

Both Parties Must Agree To The Divorce: This surprises many, but in Australia, you can get divorced, even if your partner or spouse do not agree. Provided you can prove to the court the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and the party is informed of the divorce hearing, the divorce should be granted.

Arrangements Of Children Are Settled At The Divorce Hearing: If divorcing parents can agree on arrangements for their children concerning financial support, where they live, and visitation, all that can be in place at any time before the date of the divorce.

We Cannot Agree On The Property Settlement Until The Divorce Is Finalised: Just as with arrangements for children if a couple can agree to the property settlement then that too can be implemented in practical terms before the court finalises the divorce, although it must pass the fairness test at that point.

Having An Affair Will Go Against You: Whilst we cannot condone infidelity, as far as Australian family law is concerned, it does seek to punish those who have had an affair should their spouse wish to divorce them. This harks back to the no blame principle in Australian divorce law.

Courts Always Favour The Wife: No legal principle exists that says a wife should receive preferential treatment. At face value, it might seem that way when children are concerned as usually they go to live with her, but that is done in the best interests of the children, not to favour the wife.

Couples Separating Means One Has To Go And Live Elsewhere: Whilst rare, it is legitimate for a couple to separate but continue to live in the same home until their divorce is settled,  for example, in the interests of their children. To divorce, they must prove they lived in separate rooms.

Divorces Are Extremely Expensive: They can be, but need not be. Expensive divorces are those where the two parties conduct a vitriolic case against their ex-partner thus it drags on leading to an accumulation of legal costs.