Being divorced means you are free from each other financially.
This is not true. Unless you have reached a financial agreement AND put that into a court order (which can be done via the post by consent), you still have potential claims against each other’s assets. Divorce ONLY dissolves the legal marriage.
Only assets in joint names, accumulated during the marriage will be divided.
This is not true. Both spouses have potential claims against all assets, whenever and however they were obtained. This does not mean that all assets WILL be divided or that they will all be shared equally, but it does mean they all need to be considered as a starting point and they COULD be divided. This includes a house you owned before you met that is in your name only; it includes lottery winnings that happened after you split up; it includes pensions.
I worked the most and paid for everything, therefore I will get everything.
This is usually not true. Contributions such as raising children are given equal weight and things like how long you were married and how you lived WHILE married are taken into account. Usually the matrimonial assets will be divided in some way regardless of who actually paid for them.
There is a “standard” approach to settling finances.
This is not true. The law is very flexible and you can be very flexible when it comes to deciding what you will do and how you will do it. Mediators can help you identify and assess your options to maximise the chances of you doing what works best for everyone.
I won’t have to show my ex all of my financial details.
This is not true. There is no way to enter a binding and final financial settlement without full disclosure.
As I no longer live in the house, I don’t have to pay the mortgage.
This is not true. If you are named on the mortgage you are legally responsible for paying it. However, if you cannot live in the property, your ex may owe you “occupation rent”. It is a complicated situation which mediators can help you work through.
If I don’t want or agree to a divorce, then it can’t happen.
This is not true. Under some circumstances you may slow the process down a bit, but your ex will be able to divorce you without your agreement, or even your acknowledgment, in the end. It is almost always better to try and make the divorce as unobjectionable as it can be.
If my ex has behaved “badly” in the marriage they will have to pay me more.
This is not true. Things like cheating, lying, being horrible to you, not earning any money etc. are not considered in terms of financial settlement. Usually only financial misconduct, such as stealing family money, would change the financial outcome.
If I admit Unreasonable Behaviour / Adultery or I am the respondent, I will have to pay more.
This is not true. The court does not “punish” for bad behaviour within the marriage unless it is extreme financial misconduct.
We have lived together for years, so are “common law” man / wife.
This is not true. Living together, even for decades, does not automatically give you rights against each other. There is no such thing as Common Law spouses.
If I am not getting child maintenance, I can stop my ex seeing the children.
This is not true. Although parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, they do not have to pay to see them. The children have a right to see both their parents, and their rights are prioritised.
The children live with me, so I can make all the decisions about them on my own.
This is not true. Any parent with Parental Responsibility has the legal responsibility and right to be involved in life decisions regarding their children.
The children always live with their mother.
This is not true. The children generally live with the person that was their primary carer, because the court wants to minimise disruption to them. Whilst this is still the mother more often the father, it is not always the case. As child care becomes more generally shared, so courts are more and more often opting for “shared care” arrangements.
“Normally” the children see a non-resident parent every other weekend.
This is not true. There are no “standard” arrangements that are always applied. It is generally best for parents to work out the best options available for their own specific circumstances. It is always a compromise as it not possible for both parents to have the children 100% of the time.
I can stop my ex introducing their partner to the children.
This is not true. Anyone with parental responsibility can decide who they introduce their children to. Only a court can prevent that, and they would only do that if the person posed a demonstrable risk to the child. The fact that the other parent does not know the person is not enough.