Divorce myths

Not getting married

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According to the Office of National Statistics this week, the number of cohabiting couples has more than doubled in the last 20 years, from 1.5m in 1996 to 3.3m in 2016. Cohabiting couple families now make up 17% of all families in the UK. What are the implications of this? The fundamental difference between marriage and cohabitation is that when you get married, you know that there is a legal framework around what would happen if you were to split up: the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 kicks in to regulate your divorce and any financial arrangements that need to be made…

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The decline of marriage?

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Two news stories have hit our desks this week, which illustrate rather differing approaches to resolving the complex issues facing families today. The first story emanates from the Marriage Foundation, which is an organisation aiming to be a “national champion for marriage”. Its stated aims are to seek to influence the way individuals, couples and society as a whole think about forming, maintaining and ending relationships, and it promotes access to relationship support and education, and a better public understanding of the nature and benefits of marriage. Fundamentally, it is a pro-marriage lobbying organisation. The Foundation has been in the…

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Faking it

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Acts of revenge on cheating spouses always make for easy headlines. Farmers who dump truck loads of manure on their ex-wife’s front lawn, wives who cut one sleeve off every shirt in their husband’s wardrobe, you know the sort of thing. Nowadays with social media omnipresent, these acts of revenge can get a lot of air time, and even “go viral”. So we have been amused by the apparent story of a separated German man “Martin” who posted a video on You Tube showing him sawing his possessions in half and then putting them for sale on eBay. You can…

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Top 10 myths about divorce

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We wrote last week about how the press accuses the family courts of being secretive, and we looked at the moves underway to improve public understanding of the system. With that background, we thought it would be interesting to have a brief look at some popular misconceptions about family law. Here are our top 10 myths and the realities behind them. 1. First place has to go to the “quickie divorce” – that favourite phrase used whenever a celebrity couple are getting divorced. Most recently when Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi split, the Daily Mail headline was that they were…

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