Women’s and men’s rights during divorce – housing, children, finances

A common misconception is that divorcing couple doesn’t have the same rights when it comes to divorce proceedings, and that the woman will be looked upon more favourably by the court in determining other issues relating to the marriage breakdown.

Housing Rights
The right to continue living in your marital home is granted to both married partners and neither spouse can force the other to leave.
The circumstances surrounding the property are also irrelevant, i.e. whether both of you, or only one of you, rents or owns the property.
This right applies to both partners unless a court has decided otherwise.

Children
Decisions involving children can be made jointly by the partners or with the assistance of a mediator. In the majority of cases, arrangements relating to children are made voluntarily, resulting in both partners being satisfied with the outcome.
A number of court orders can be applied for if it has been difficult for the partners to reach a joint decision either independently or with the help of a mediator:
Child arrangements order – decides various matters, including where the child lives, how much time the child spends with each parent and the frequency and duration of other forms of contact, such as telephone calls.
Specific issue order – deals with a specific question about the upbringing of the child, such as which school they should attend.
Prohibited steps order – can be applied for to prevent the other parent from making decisions regarding the child’s upbringing.

Either parent or anyone with parental responsibility can apply for a court order.
Calculate how much child maintenance you or your ex partner need to paying using our Child Maintenance Calculator.

Financial Arrangements

When a marriage comes to an end and children are involved, it is the responsibility of both parents to offer financial support to those children.
Where the children will be living is irrelevant when it comes to deciding upon financial support for those dependants; support must be granted by both parents regardless of where the children will be based.
An individual can also apply for financial support from their partner whether they have children or not.
You can apply for financial support from your partner in numerous ways:
• A family-based agreement
• With help from the Child Maintenance Service (CMS)
Where the children will be living is irrelevant when it comes to deciding upon financial support for those dependants; support must be granted by both parents regardless of where the children will be based.
An individual can also apply for financial support from their partner whether they have children or not.
You can apply for financial support from your partner in numerous ways:
• A family-based agreement
• With help from the Child Maintenance Service (CMS)
• Through the courts
The needs of the parties involved will be assessed when it comes to issues such as a mortgage or house. If it is found that the needs of one partner and any children outweigh those of the other partner, the court will order that the home be transferred solely to the former.

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