Debunking The Myth Of A Common Law Wife.
Posted by: Sue Atkins
I’ve started filming a comprehensive series of Divorce videos called ‘Divorce – Step By Step’ where I will cover your emotional wellbeing, informing you of your legal choices and financial options, supporting and helping you with my ideas for positive co- parenting & I will also be looking at the wider issues like losing some friends or family who take sides, or give you well meant advice that doesn’t really help.
The videos are designed to help you navigate the extremely challenging time of going through a divorce. As I believe divorce is a process NOT an event and many parents I work with are transfixed in fear, overwhelm, grief, anger & confusion during this time so my videos are designed to support you practically. I will also be sign posting you to the relevant professional who can give you in depth, relevant advice for your particular circumstances.
Getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership can be an extremely emotional, worrying and difficult time. At such a stressful time you need someone on your side who will be there for you and a family law solicitor will support you through the divorce process, and will give you advice that you can trust about the things that matter most – your children, your home and your financial security.
Your solicitor will listen to you and discuss your options with you. They will let you know where you stand, tell you what your rights are and help you to understand what your ex-partner’s rights are as well. They will try to make the divorce as simple and as stress-free as possible.
If you have been living together but were not married, a family solicitor can help you understand your rights on a break-up
Understanding the myth of common law marriage.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’. In England and Wales only people who are married, whether of the same sex or not, or those in civil partnerships can rely on the law about dividing up their finances when they divorce or dissolve their marriage.
The assumption by many unmarried couples,particularly in long standing relationships, is that they have acquired rights similar to those of married couples is WRONG.
This common misconception and urban myth really needs to be addressed as many women contact me in despair having just discovered this information.
Many women in particular, also believe that by having a child together they acquire legal rights. This is ISN’T true either. Only couples who are married or in a civil partnership acquire legal rights and responsibilities in relation to each other.
Your rights if you split up
For couples who are not married or in a civil partnership, if you split up from your partner they would not (except in certain types of cases) have to pay YOU maintenance even if you stayed at home to look after your children – but they would still have to pay CHILD MAINTENANCE.
Child maintenance is regular, reliable financial support that helps towards your child’s everyday living costs and can cover essentials like clothes, food and school shoes.
This was written with support from The Child Maintenance Options and the advice given on this page is not a substitute for independent professional advice and readers should get professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.