Busting Myths about Relationship Breakdowns
As a family lawyer and mediator I come across many pre-conceived ideas and misunderstandings about rights following a relationship breakdown. A few of the most common :
My ex can make me sell our home straight away
This is not necessarily true. Whilst an application to court can be made, it is a lengthy, expensive process in which the court will need to consider all the issues. The prime consideration will be given to any children involved.
My ex says the courts are going to take the children off me
The term custody and access is no longed used in children matters. This has been substituted for a terminology in line with the courts thinking on children matters – the court now considers ‘living arrangements’ for children, ie where children will live and who they will visit, the focus being on children spending time with each parent.
I may be left without any money
Maintenance for children is determined by the Child Maintenance Service (CMA). There is an online calculator which you can find at www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance. There will be a fee levied by the CMA if you chose to use their services for calculation and collection of maintenance.
Married couples have their finances determined under Section 25 of the MCA, this includes claims for income. Determination of income needs is based primarily on needs and means.
My ex says "See you in court"
Any one wishing to issue proceedings now has to consider mediation. The court will not accept an application in relation to any breakdown related matter without this process having been considered. There are only a few exceptional circumstances in cases of emergency or safeguarding.
It is important you are aware of all the options open to you. Separating from your ex does not have to be expense or end up in court. On the contrary family mediation is available to all parties on separation and is a process that helps both parties to work together and find solutions that meet their specific needs and those of their child/ren.
Legal aid is still available in some circumstances for mediation and where one party has legal aid the other party may also receive the benefit of limited legal aid
This week’s Family Mediation Week campaign aims to raise awareness of mediation as an alternative to court battles for separating couples.
To find out more about family mediation and whether you might qualify for legal aid funded mediation, please contact our Mediation teams in Halifax (01422 339637), Brighouse (01484 710571) or Huddersfield (01484 483800) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about Family Mediation Week