Helen Bowns

Helen Bowns

Partner - Family

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Family Law FAQs

Helen Bowns of our Family Law team shares some examples of the Family Law FAQs (frequently asked questions) that have been raised by her clients* during their individual family law cases.

Family law can be a very sensitive subject, our experts are experienced, compassionate and have a wealth of experience.

We’ll be posting regular FAQs in our blog section and updating them on our Family Law FAQs page.

(*names will be not be shown in full for confidentiality reasons.)

“Can my husband and I get a divorce and blame “irreconcilable differences?”” C – Coventry

As solicitors we often get asked by clients whether they can obtain a divorce on the basis of irreconcilable differences, i.e. they don’t want to blame the other one for the breakdown of the marriage but neither of them want to remain married.

Unfortunately in this country this is not possible.  If a couple want to get divorced, without waiting for two years (you can apply for a divorce if you’ve lived apart for more than 2 years and both agree to the divorce), then one of them has to blame the other for the breakdown of the marriage.  The only grounds for divorce would be that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and the fact to support this would either be adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

“I have been living with my partner for five years, does that mean that I am his common law spouse?” J – Coventry

“There is no such thing as Common law spouse.  Cohabiting couples, who are not married, have no special rights in law.  Any claims relate solely to property and these can be very complex and expensive cases.  That is why it is important that when buying a property with a partner or when moving a partner into your property that you have a cohabitation agreement to set out clearly what would happen if the relationship broke down.”

This concludes the FAQ for this week. Visit next week for more answers to your questions. If there are any Family Law issues you’d like Band Hatton Button’s assistance with please get in touch.