Love Island or Love Deserted

Rebecca Massam Family Law Solicitor

Whether you are a Love Island fan or not, you may have found yourself unable to escape the recent articles and comments from prominent Women’s and Domestic Abuse Charities raising concerns about the coercive and controlling behaviour that has been displayed by some of the contestants of the show.   

Sadly, this is incredibly common, and if you are experiencing abuse in your relationship, you are far from being alone: research suggests that as many as one in four women and one in eight men will experience it at some point.  

Statistics also suggest that incidents of domestic violence increase during major sporting events, the most common example being when England’s men’s football team play in a major tournament such as the upcoming Euro 2022.   

The thought of ending any relationship can be incredibly daunting. There are often a number of legal issues that need to be addressed and financial arrangements made, as well as those for the children. Add into the mix the need to be protected from an abusive partner, and it can feel like a lot to deal with in one go. 

As well as guiding you through the legal process of divorce and separation, at Warners, we will be there to provide practical advice too. We are connected with a wide range of support services and can introduce you to people who will help you to find a safe place to stay, if required, find out if you are eligible for any state benefits or legal aid. 

An application for divorce can be made without needing to prove or even state that any abuse has taken place, which can take the pressure off the entire process, and it is incredibly unlikely that you will have to attend at court in order to obtain a divorce. 

If you require the protection of an injunction, then we can assist you with making this application to court, and it is possible to ask the court for an order that you stay in the family home while your partner is made to find alternative accommodation. This can then allow time to resolve any financial issues and to make safe and realistic arrangements for the children. We can also talk you through all the options that are available in respect of the children and how to protect your own wellbeing during times when they visit your partner. 

One thing to bear in mind is a common misconception that if your spouse has behaved unreasonably during your marriage, they will be penalised when it comes to the division of the matrimonial assets. This is not the case, and it is unlikely that your experience of domestic abuse will lead to an increase in your financial entitlements. It is only in rare and extreme cases that a court will look at an adjustment of matrimonial assets based on the conduct of your spouse. The court has to be convinced that their conduct was so bad that it cannot be ignored.

Facing abuse from the person that is meant to love you most commonly leads to a lack of confidence and self-doubt, but the law recognises the need to protect and help victims, and the courts are investing more in ensuring victims of domestic violence are given much-needed support.

For further information, please contact Rebecca Massam in the family law team on 01732 747900 or email [email protected] 

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.

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