We search out the most common myths about family law – some of which might surprise you! Did you know that there is no such thing as a common law marriage? Read on to find out why – and what else is exposed as a myth about family law.

Myth 1: That there is such a thing as ‘common law marriage’

Under current English law no such concept exists: if you are not married, then the law does not protect you or give you the same rights as if you were married, however long you have lived together.

There are however ways of regulating your financial arrangements even if you are not married. A mediator can help you and your partner discuss what financial arrangements you want to make whilst you are living together, and what you want to happen should your relationship break down.

The mediator can help you identify the important issues and these can be incorporated into a Co-habitation Agreement. Such an agreement will set out clearly what your intentions and expectations are, and as a result will help you to minimise conflict in the event of your separation.

Myth 2: That you have to go to court when you get divorced.

It is not the case that you have to go to court in order to sort out your divorce.  A mediator can help you to sort out your divorce, as well as the financial arrangements and arrangements for the children.

In mediation you retain control of the decisions that affect your family and you can tailor these with the help of the mediator to suit your particular circumstances.  If mediation is not for you then there are other options, such as collaborative law and arbitration. A mediator can explain all of the options to you at an initial meeting.

Myth 3: That fathers have less say than mothers about their children.

Both parents have parental responsibility for their children, and the law presumes that both parents will be involved in their children’s upbringing. It is best for children if parents can co-operate with each other in respect to their children.

In mediation you and your spouse/partner can work out the arrangements that you would like to have in place in respect to your children, and these can be incorporated into a Parenting Agreement.

Want to know more about family mediation, and family law? Get in touch with us by email to rmg@evolvefamilymediation.co.uk or by phone to 01923 431601 or 03339 398404.