Ten Common Misconceptions about Family Law

Here at SNS, our specialist family law solicitors come across misunderstandings and expectations in our clients that do not correlate to the reality in our family law system. Sometimes that is good news for our client; sometimes it is not. Myth no 1: the Myth of the common law marriage One of the most prevalent misunderstandings is that we have such a thing as a common law marriage in England and Wales. It is not unreasonable to have thought this; many countries do have laws allowing some rights to arise against cohabiting (but unmarried) couples. But in England and Wales, this is not the case. This can lead to what feels like great injustice, such as for the partner who left their career


On 25 June 2020 the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 came into force, effectively ending the fault-based divorce system which has been much maligned in recent years. Under the previous regime, a divorcing party was required to prove irretrievable breakdown by blaming the spouse’s unreasonable behaviour, or alternatively adultery, or else wait for at least two years before commencing a divorce by consent, or five years where the consent of the other party was not required. This lead to the absurd position where one party could seek the dismissal of a petition brought by their spouse by arguing that the marriage had not broken down and the petitioner’s case was at best exaggerated

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which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, SRA number 623061. 

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