April 14, 2024
Understanding Divorce Law: Here's What You Should Know

In the UK divorce law can get a little complicated at times and whether you’re engaged to be married or in the midst of getting a divorce there are certain basics you should absolutely be aware of. After all, while a marriage is a display of love it is also a legal contract and one that comes with significant rights and obligations.

Today we’ll be taking a look at the basics of UK divorce law and what you should know.

Grounds For A Divorce

Before even getting married, it’s only sensible to know what counts as reasonable grounds for a divorce. After all, while nobody who’s getting married wants to consider the possibility of divorce, the fact is that you just can’t know how a marriage will work out until it’s a few years down the line.

Technically speaking, there is only ever one reason for a divorce: that a marriage has irrevocably broken down. However, in order to obtain a divorce you’ll need to prove this, for which you can submit one of five pieces of evidence:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • Separation for at least two years with consent
  • Separation for at least five years without consent

Are Prenuptial Agreements Legally Binding?

Some people choose to make prenuptial agreements before marriage, but it’s worth knowing that prenuptial agreements do come with some limitations under UK divorce law. For example, a prenuptial agreement must have been signed by both parties with full consent and cannot be used to determine any agreement relating to children, such as custody.

In terms of financial assets things are a little more certain, though not as much as many people assume. Generally speaking, if a prenuptial agreement has been laid out, a court will side with it, however, they are not bound to do so and can choose to go against the prenuptial agreement if such a departure seems fair.

Protecting Your Assets Without A Prenuptial Agreement

If you’re considering divorce and want to protect your assets without getting a prenuptial agreement then there are some options at your disposal. The first thing you should do in this scenario is to consult with a family solicitor who can advise you about some of the finer points of divorce law. They may, for example, recommend that you freeze all joint assets.

In extreme cases where the divorce is anything but amicable, they may also advise that you get a restraining order and gather evidence to show that your partner/ex-partner is in breach of their legal obligations. 

Ultimately though, it’s important to remember that a court has a fair amount of freedom to make decisions about the division of assets and so the most important thing you can do is get a good solicitor to help you to construct a convincing case.

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